Broc Cellars Le Clairet The Perfect Red Cabernet Mendocino California 750ml



The Perfect Red

We love day drinking glouglou as much as anyone else (or maybe slightly more) but sometimes you need to sit down and drink a bottle of wine with a proper dinner at home on any given weeknight. Something fresh and crunchy, but with a bit more structure. Nothing too fancy mind you: think hanger steak and green salad rather than dry-aged beef and lobster tails. 

The original Perfect Red came from a happy accident in one of Michel Théron’s (Clos du Jaugueyron) vineyards and led to a Clairet-style bottling dubbed ‘Le Rouge Parfait’ in 2018. With this kind of Tuesday night drinking in mind, we decided to keep bottling Perfect Reds as we came across them, first in Chris Brockway’s Berkeley cellar and later in the Douro at Mateus Nicolau De Almeida’s.

As with all of our wines, rest assured that these are all made with organic fruit, fermented with native yeasts, and have little to no added sulfur, just the way we like them. So, here's to natty wine not always being iridescent, steak wine not always being expensive, and to always having The Perfect Red for any occasion.


How We Make Wine

Our goal in making wine is to bring out the natural expression of the grape. We start by using only native fermentations, a process that means we only use native yeasts and bacteria that exist on the grapes in order to make wine. We pick grapes early while they are still healthy and less desiccated. This allows for an easier fermentation without the need to add yeast because you don’t have copious amounts of sugar. We also pick the grapes early for good acidity. We don’t add anything – this includes nutrients, yeast, bacteria, enzymes, tannins or other popular fermentation agents. Sulphur is a naturally occurring element in all wine and the amount found can vary. We add little to no sulphur, depending on the wine and style.

Where We Source Grapes

We source an eclectic mix of grapes from all over California, working with vineyards as far south as Paso Robles and as far north as Mendocino. All of the vineyards are smaller and farmed organically. 


The Broc Cellars story begins with a move from Nebraska to California. Chris Brockway grew up in Omaha and felt drawn to wine. Specifically spicy, brambly Zinfandels from California, and took a leap to move out West. He received an oenology degree from Fresno State and began making his first wine in 2002 – it was just one barrel. The following year he made three barrels, and by 2004 had 14 barrels of wine to call his own. Broc Cellars was born and had its first official release in 2006. At the time, the mentality surrounding California wines was “bigger is better”. Chris personally felt the wines to be too big, too much alcohol, too much everything. He set out to do something else. In 2008 he moved to his first winery space in Berkeley, which was originally known as Grape Leaf Cellars, located only one block away from where we are now. This is where Broc found its way.

In his first winemaking years in Berkeley, Chris sourced from only a handful of vineyards in California. Arrowhead Mountain Vineyard, an organically farmed Zinfandel vineyard in Sonoma, was one of the first places Chris purchased fruit from starting in 2006 and continues to make wine from this special vineyard today. Chris learned that picking before what was considered ripe in California at the time produced wines that he really enjoyed drinking. This was true for not only the Zinfandel from Arrowhead, but all the other vineyards he worked with. Picking before the grapes got too ripe led to fresher, lighter wines that were lower in alcohol - they showed the special character of the vineyard. Today, the Vine Starr Zinfandel is still recognized as one of the most fresh and balanced Zinfandels made from California. 

In 2009, Chris made his first vintage of Carignan using carbonic maceration and it was also the first year he experimented with skin contact whites, making a Rousanne. Another wine that paved the way for Broc early on was the whole cluster Cabernet Franc, now known as KouKou. In 2010 Chris began working with Cabernet Franc from Happy Canyon in Santa Barbara and made it using whole cluster fermentation. The wines made in 2009 and 2010 were unlike most wines being made in California at the time and were building blocks for how Broc wines are made today.

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