Fat Bastard Merlot 2003
Good friends Tierry (renowned French winemaker) and Guy (British wine industry rebel) created FAT bastard almost by accident. It started out as an experiment Thierry had going in the back of his cellar, leaving a barrel “on the lees” (yeast cells). He didn’t know what to expect, but when he and Guy tried the wine, Thierry exclaimed, with a strong French accent, ”Now zat iz what you call eh Phet bast-ard!” This very British expression perfectly described the wine’s wonderful color and round, rich palate, so that’s what they named it. In 1991, Véronique Torcolacci obtained her degree in oenology from the University of Toulouse. She joined Gabriel Meffre as oenologist in charge of quality before becoming head winemaker. Produced in partnership with Gabriel Meffre and crafted from the low-yielding vineyards of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, the wine is remarkably full bodied with a vibrant, fruit-forward style. It is no wonder that Time magazine has referred to FAT bastard as, “Wine for the anti-snob.” When crafting FAT bastard, the objective of Véronique and her team remains the same: never make the slightest compromise on quality. With this in mind, she regularly visits the Languedoc vineyards, meeting with the winegrowers and seeking out wines that satisfy her rigorous demands.
As someone who feels strongly about protecting the environment, Véronique raises the issue of sustainable development with winegrowers and always strives to respect the land and the grape varieties as much as possible during the winemaking process. Commitment and passion are the driving forces that have enabled her to rise to this challenge for the past 20 years. Thanks to her unique knowledge, she has obtained more than 100 medals, several 4- and 5-star ratings, and special mentions for her wines in all the major wine competitions and top wine magazines. Her skills have also made her a name throughout the profession, particularly in the area of wine bottle capping and corking.
Setting the standards for red wine production worldwide, France holds rank as the source of the world’s most popular red grape varieties. Famous for their elegance, grace and longevity, the red wines of France come in a variety of styles.
Burgundy claims some of the most desirable vineyard real estate on the planet and remains a source of the world’s most coveted Pinot noir. A powerhouse producer of red wines based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Bordeaux sits on France’s western side, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a coastal pine forest. The region’s mild, maritime climate and gravel-heavy soils are perfect for the production of highly structured, cellar-worthy red wines. In the south, the long and narrow Rhône River Valley produces full-bodied, flavorful reds. Syrah makes its home in the Northern Rhône where a continental climate and steep hillside vineyards create some of the best in the world. Southern Rhône’s Grenache-based blends easily charm most any wine enthusiast. For those after a more delicate red, the Loire Valley’s Cabernet Franc maintains a loyal line of followers.