Clos des Brusquieres Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2006
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
- red wine
- collectible wine
"Dark purple. Heady red and dark berry aromas are complicated by incense, fresh flowers, baking spices and minerals. Sexy strawberry and raspberry flavors offer a smooth, velvety texture and impressive depth. Finishes clean and brisk, with outstanding persistence. I love this style for its vivacity and precision."
-International Wine Cellar 91-93
Clos des Brusquieres Winery
At only eight hectares in size, this miniscule, ultra-traditional estate produces tiny quantities of just one wine: no luxury cuvee, no specialty blend, just a stunningly pure and complex Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Owner Claude Courtil is the godson of none other than Henri Bonneau, one of the most legendary and revered producers in the region, and he learned everything he knows about winemaking from his godfather. Henri and Claude share a deeply held commitment to natural winemaking: manual vineyard work, traditional aging in large foudres, and bottling without intrusive fining and filtration. A reserved, introspective man, Courtil sold his entire production to negociants until the 1996 vintage, and he has been producing steadily more impressive and complete wine ever since -- though the '96 is an extremely gorgeous Chateauneuf in its own right! This is truly a special domaine, and one that is extremely deserving of your attention.
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(shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de BeaucastelSouthern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Notable Facts There are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regions
When it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and
Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.