Introducing Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Reserve Red, White and Rosé
Author: Mark Pardoe MW
The Berrys’ Own Selection range is having a face-lift. Smarter labels and packaging, some new wines and changes to the structure of the range will all begin to be instigated during the next year.
And with the new broom comes the opportunity for review. Our Berrys’ Red, White and Rosé, once with the sobriquet “House” included in the title, are among our most popular wines, so any change had to be treated with caution. But we felt that, with a tweak here or there, they could be even better.
So our “Reserve” range is born. Stylistically, these are teased from the same mould as the previous incarnations. The white still takes Chardonnay as its core, the red remains built around Merlot, and the rosé – with colour as important as flavour – continues to express its Provençale aspirations. And, of course, Jean-Luc Terrier, the grower and producer who has served us so well for so long, had to remain as our supplier.
The brief was discussed with Jean-Luc, and a modestly higher cost price agreed, which was vital to allow us greater access to the fruit of his own vineyards in the limestone-rich Limoux region, south of Carcassonne. In the past, to meet our pricing requirements, Jean-Luc would very expertly supplement some of his own production with other wines from the area. Now, we could delve into a much greater volume of his own wines, and we had our eyes on some well-sited parcels of vines which we knew were coming into full maturity, but previously outside our scope.
And thus, in crystal-blue January this year, Simon Field MW (our buyer for the Languedoc) and I spent the day with Jean-Luc, constructing and deconstructing all the 30-or-so components at our disposal until we thought we had it right. The white, now almost entirely from Jean-Luc’s fruit, is bright and tangy, but with a creamy note from a gently oaked element previously beyond our reach, and deliciously compact. The red keeps the juiciness of its Merlot, but gains another dimension from 10 percent of deeply coloured, spicy, domaine-grown Syrah, worthy of the Rhône, with Grenache softening the edges. The rosé is often the hardest to create, perhaps because we always do it last, but the final blend of come-hither pale pink, a wine firm but dry, with a gentle coulis of red fruits, seemed just right to us.
And now the Reserve wines are arriving. The first signs are good: we wanted them to be delicious to drink by themselves, but worthy partners for the table as well, and so they are. In their smart new livery, an upgrade to Burgundy bottles and a return to cork closure, they also look the part. The chest swells with a paternal pride, as on the child’s first day at school.
Our new Reserve range is available on bbr.com. Do let us know what you think of the wines by submitting a customer review.