Jérémy Bricka: natural alpine wines from old varieties in a re-born wine region
After studying enology in Bourgogne and working eight years for Guigal, Jérémy Bricka moved to the Trièves mountains in 2011, where he was co-founder and is now co-owner with Frédéric Revol of Domaine des Hautes Glaces, which makes highly acclaimed single malt whiskies from organically farmed rye and barley.
Trièves is on the edge of the alps, at 900 m, and is just south of Grenoble. Since 2015 Bricka has also been making wine. He’s planted vineyard plots with old, local varieties such as Verdesse, Douce Noir, Étraire de L’Auduï and Chasselas, and now farms 4.5 ha. The wines are made naturally. the wine region here is Isere, an IGP on the eastern border of France above the Rhône and below Savoie.
This is part of a local initiative to re-start the local wine scene. Back in 1940 there were 125 hectares of vines here, but the region died, and has now begun again, with a dozen hectares now planted and five vignerons, as well as more growers. Bricka’s wines are really compelling. They are labelled as Vin de France or IGP Isere.
Jérémy Bricka Verdesse Pont de Brion 2019 IGP Isere, France
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. 94/100
Jérémy Bricka Vin Orange NV Vin de France
10.5% alcohol. No added sulfites. Chasselas. This is concentrated with some nice grainy structure and a bit of grip, but also some delicacy. Shows some green tea and spice notes as well as a touch of apple. Some wildness here, but also nice balance. Lovely freshness on the finish with a lemony tapering finish. 93/100
Jérémy Bricka Étraire de L’Auduï Pont de Brion 2019 IGP Isére, France
12% alcohol. Étraire de L’Auduï is an old, rare variety. 563 m altitude. Just 20 mg/ml added sulfur dioxide. This is very primary and direct with taut black cherry and raspberry fruit. There’s a slight creaminess here sitting under the bright fruit. Lovely precision and focus here with nice bright acidity and some flesh to the fruit. I like the purity. It’s just a baby, but the fruit here is so lovely, and there’s a concentration and freshness to it. Will be interesting to try in six months. 94/100
Jérémy Bricka Douce Noir 2019 IGP Isére, France
This is from three year old vines planted by Jérémy, and nothing has been added before. It’s Douce Noir, which is the same as Bonarda. This is supple, rounded, juicy and quite elegant with nice cherries and plums, with a touch of sour cherry. Very juicy and expressive with freshness and intensity. There’s a lot going on here. 94/100
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