Sous bois to Brett

Over the years I have had some special wine experiences about which I have extremely vivid memories. I have reviewed the notes for some of these recently when looking at EP campaigns and a trait has really leapt out at me is the presence of varying degrees of barnyard. Sometimes I have noted forest floor, sometimes comparisons to rough cider (the real stuff which tastes like TCP!), barnyard, leaf litter, etc.

This comes up from time to time in well matured Musar, Weinert wines left to open over a 12-24 period prior to drinking, some CNDP, and a few other country French styles. Though with the exception of Musar and Weinert it seems very hit or miss. Generally wine at the end of or over TWS drinking windows seem most likely to provide the heavenly taint, but it is a bit of a gamble in my experience; the same wine and vintage may not provide Brett two bottles in a row.

Are there any other Brett lovers out there and what are your go-to wines?

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My last 2001 was lacking but the one before was wonderful!

I also had a crozes hermitage a few weeks ago that was showing wonderful bretty development. Wish I had another bottle (2015 Domaine Cobier).

I know Brett quite well from beer; I’ve brewed Brett finished stock ales and stouts myself, but I’ve never really come across strong Brett in wine. Wines that I’ve had that have been spoiled had other taints along the Brett - like a vinegary Welsh red wine past the hill made from a Champagne clone of Pinot Noir :rofl:

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Well similar chemistry is at play but in my opinion the result can be far more pleasant. I’m not terribly keen on Brett beers but for whatever reason it I think it’s super in Wine.

There is a sweet spot for me in many bottles where the structure and sweetness is starting to wane with age, leaving a fine boned slightly farmyard wine.

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Same with beer. I don’t like beer fermented purely with Brett (well, some varieties better than others) as it can be quite sour and funky. I prefer the Brett to be introduced after fermentation with S Cerevisiae has been under way, so you get something similar to what you describe there for wine: the majority of the character is regular ale, but drier and leaner (the Brett finished what the Cerevisiae couldn’t) and with evolving notes that can tend towards some farmyard, sour cherries, nuts.

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Makes me think that some of the acidity and leanness of Tondonia Tinto does remind me of Brett but that might be an unfair conclusion (I do love Tondonia, btw :rofl:).

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Yes! And you have nailed it in terms of the wines (Musar & Weinert, specifically Cavas de Weinert) that I learned what this was and that I like it. Also experienced this with a few mature Rhones as well… with the right food I love the additional complexity it can add.

Just make sure you haven’t been drinking something clean, precise and non-bretty first!


This is a really interesting thread picked up in Jamie Goode’s Flawless book. Certainly a fault that offers positives to many
EDIT: sorry about the wonky pic


Mas du Gassac can often provide an abundance of Brett, even swirling it endlessly doesn’t always dissipate it .


Do I get the impression that for you Brett is not a quality? :grin:

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It generally depends on how much the wine has been affected , I really don’t mind it at all in lower levels … however sometimes it overwhelms the wine … then I’m not so keen :wink::yum:.


Agreed - swirling isn’t really vigorous enough. But decanting into a ship’s decanter, followed by vigorous sloshing to get air through it is often much more successful.

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