THE WINE LIST
Anne McHale, who curates the wine list at 108 Brasserie, picks out a favourite bottle from her menu
Interview & image: Viel Richardson
‘Nobody’s Perfect’ Sémillon / Muscadelle, Château de Monfaucon, Bordeaux, France 2017
I love the story behind this wine as much as I enjoy the wine itself. The vineyard is owned by an English lady called Dawn Jones-Cooper. She had worked as a hairdresser in London for many years when she and her husband bought a farm in the Bordeaux region, which had a vineyard attached. After falling in love with the place and becoming fascinated by wine production, she eventually gained a degree in viticulture and winemaking at Plumpton College in East Sussex. She began to produce her own wines; fast-forward seven years and she is the maker of this delicious white.
She focuses on the whites that are permitted in Bordeaux: sauvignon blanc, sémillon and muscadelle. Her vineyard is fully organic, which is quite hard to achieve in Bordeaux. This is a big decision, because the humid conditions in the region mean that most growers use fungicides to combat the mildew that can develop on the grapes, which leads to rot and makes them unusable. But Dawn and her team are very hands-on and work extremely hard, using only natural defences and constant vigilance.
Delicate and aromatic
This wine is the first sémillon / muscadelle blend she has done. The sémillon adds a lovely mouthfeel and texture as well as those fresh apple-y and citrus notes, while the muscadelle is very delicate and aromatic, with elderflower notes. It is a lovely combination.
It is a beautiful, bone-dry wine, which can be hard to put into words without quoting a list of different flavours. It has those apple and grapefruit notes people will be familiar with, but it also has something extra. There is a kind of energy to this wine, a really zingy, lip-smacking, ‘have another’ quality to it. Normally as a professional you spit out wines during tastings to keep your head clear, but I must admit that at a recent tasting I drank the whole glass!
I enjoy drinking it on its own and a lot of people order it at the bar as a pre-dinner drink. My thinking on food and wine matching is that too many people give too many rules—the main thing is to match the richness of the food with the richness of the wine, so one does not overwhelm the other. Nobody’s Perfect is very versatile. It does go particularly well with shellfish like crabs and scallops. One of the staples on the 108 Brasserie menu is a superfood salad, and this wine matches beautifully with that, too.