Last week we were spoilt with the launch of the 2017 La Brune Pinot Noir “the best they have produced” at The Lemon and Lime Cooking Studio. Lunch was served in the exquisite home turned cooking studio of Denise Cowburn-Levy, in Fresnaye, Cape Town.
Each course was served with a delicious French wine handpicked by Nico and beautifully paired by Denise. But honestly the stand out wine of the day was the 2017 La Brune.
La Brune is the passion project of Nico Grobler and his wife Christelle.
Visits to Burgundy educated about finesse, elegance, restraint, purity, freshness, and length.
The style behind La Brune Pinot Noir is exactly that. It is pure and wears no makeup. The wine is packed with complexities without being overpowering or in your face. It is austere and reserved, held together with tightness, length and freshness. It is elegant and has finesse. It reveals, instead of conceals, the bone structure of Pinot Noir grown on African soil.
La Brune 2017 is the best vintage we have produced. There is a great balance between power, intensity, elegance, perfume and purity. These types of profiles rarely come around. La Brune 2017 has a beautiful freshness on the nose. The profile has moved more to orange peel and perfume (on the nose) and moved away from being red-fruit focused. Palate wise, there are just so many layers. These include tightness, linear, chalk, minerality, fresh tannin and a layer of some white strawberries and cherries, with a hint of forest floor.
With 2017 being the third vintage of the drought this had a significant influence on the profile of the wines. Dry conditions during the growing and ripening season sent the vines into survival mode. As a result, it was not about the fruit, but rather about pushing its roots as deep as possible into the soils. This created an intense concentration in the berries with silky tannin, high acidity and pure fruit. The profile of the wine is more perfume and orange peel on the nose with a chalky, mineral core on the palate and some red fruit on the side.