Fat Bastard Pinot Noir 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
A catchall term for the area surrounding the Languedoc and Roussillon, Pays d’Oc is the most important IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) in France, producing 85% of this country’s wine under the IGP designation. (IGP indicates wine of good quality, not otherwise elevated to the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status.)
The near perfect Mediterranean climate combined with dry, cool winds from the north, optimal soils, altitudes and exposures make Pays d’Oc an ideal wine growing region. Single varietal wines and blends are possible here and while many types of grapes do well in Pays d’Oc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Grenache and Cinsault are among the most common.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”