Wine Lexicon


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Brett, brettanomyces

A wild yeast that occasionally afflicts wines, particularly those made under less-than-sterile conditions in older or careless wineries. Controversial; some wine lovers detest the "organic," "barnyard," "leather," "metallic" or even "fecal" aroma that it imparts; others regard it -- at least in minute amounts -- as an element of complexity and a classic characteristic of older red Burgundies and Rhone wines, some Bordeaux and Italian properties and, rarely and always controversially, California Cabernets.

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