Verdesse is a rare and often under-appreciated variety native to the French Alps, that is capable of producing spectacular wines in the hands of the right winemaker. Bricka works his vines organically, against a backdrop of snow topped mountains, and his expression of Verdesse is mesmerising. Crisp and textured, with notes of apple, spice, tart citrus and a delicious, honeyed finish. This is a wine that perfectly exemplifies why Alpine regions are so exciting to explore.
13% alcohol. Verdesse is a rare, old grape variety, local to L’Isere. 520 m altitude. 20 mg/ml added SO2. Organic, wild ferment in old barrels. Has a powerful nose of mandarin and apple, with some spice. The palate is concentrated and fruit-driven with apple, spice, a touch of honey and taut citrus fruit. There’s a slight salinity on the finish with a crystalline core to the fruit. Amazing stuff with many dimensions to it.
Deep straw colour and not star-bright (it is unfined and unfiltered). This smells as though there had been some skin contact although there is no mention of this in the tech spec. Every ounce of flavour has clearly been extracted from these grapes which do indeed, as suggested by the name, have a green streak – an attractive one – and the wine has an appley note à la naturelle, but not aggressively so. There is a good core of fruit with a light note of toffee apples. Lots to chew on on the end.
Jérémy Bricka's route to producing his own wines is a fascinating one. After studying in Burgundy, he spent eight years working for the legendary Rhone producer E Guigal; managing their vines in St Joseph and Hermitage. His passion, however, had always been in the Mountains and ultimately he settled in the small Alpine region of Isère (just south of Savoie). Despite his pedigree in vineyard management and winemaking, Jérémy ended up co-founding France's first whisky distillery Des Hautes Glaces, where he produced whisky until 2015.The siren call of winemaking, however, eventually lead Jérémy to plant his own vineyards in the region; populating them with rare, local varieties that have been undervalued and at risk of dying out. He planted: Verdesse, Mondeuse Blanche and Noir, Altesse, Persan, Estraire de l’Aduï and Douce Noire. These are all farmed organically, and the vines overlook snowy peaked mountains at 500m above sea level.Jérémy Bricka's Domaine is young, but quickly building a strong reputation and cult following. We have been incredibly impressed with his Verdesse, Estraire de l’Aduï and the low alcohol, 'Vin Orange' Chasselas.