Andre Brunel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Cailloux Centenaire (3L) 2007
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
The Cuvee Centenaire bottling is among the rarest and most sought after wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is produced from ancient vines planted in 1889. The Centenaire vineyard is planted to roughly 80% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre and 8% Syrah. The Grenache, which is often picked at 16 degrees potential alcohol, is vinified and aged in tank, while the Mourvedre and Syrah are finished in small barrels for up to 24 months. Brunel only makes the Cuvée Centenaire in the finest vintages, otherwise the old-vine fruit is used in the "regular" Les Cailloux bottling.
Wine Spectator - "Rich, but amazingly silky and elegant, this is layered with blackberry, raspberry and fig fruit and stitched with incense, black tea and warm plum sauce notes, all of it staying remarkably lithe and suave. The superlong finish shows weight and precision as only Grenache can. Tempting now, but should put on weight in the cellar. Drink now through 2030."
The Wine Advocate - "Two brilliant successes are Brunel’s cuvees of 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape. His limited cuvee of approximately 500 cases of the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Centenaire (made from 80% Grenache aged in foudre, and the balance Syrah and Mourvedre aged in one- to three-year-old small barrels) comes primarily from a parcel of 120-year-old vines in the northern part of the appellation in the lieu-dit known as Farguerol. This cuvee has only been made in vintages such as 1989, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, and now 2007. Deep ruby/purple in color, the wine exhibits very up-front, precocious, sexy plum, black currant, and sweet cherry notes intermixed with some floral hints, licorice, and garrigue. It is dense, full-bodied, much more supple and silky-textured than the 2005 or 2001, but seemingly more concentrated than the 2000 version of this wine. It is a brilliant, full-throttle, seamless Chateauneuf du Pape capable of lasting for up to two decades, although few people will be able to resist its exuberant youthfulness. "
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid red color. Seductive, highly expressive aromas of raspberry, anise, Asian spices, smoky minerals and potpourri. Juicy, sweet and palate-staining, with vibrant red and dark berry flavors and superb clarity and back-end florality. The extremely long finish leaves sweet floral pastille and raspberry notes behind. This is one of the most seductive wines of the vintage and is already showing a lot of complexity."
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Andre Brunel Winery
The Brunel family has been in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region since the 17th century and has been fully committed to making wine for five generations. The first vineyard beginning was purchased from the Bishop of Avignon located in the north of the appellation. In 1971, André Brunel took over the reins of the Domaine. We want to produce wines reflecting their region and origin while remaining elegant and wonderfully subtle. The Domaine boasts about 40 hectares in Côtes du Rhône, mostly located to the east of the city of Orange and the rest being in the Gard near Lirac. His endless motivation resulted in rapid growth for the Domaine: repurchasing of Côtes du Rhône and Vins de Pays vines. He also made some considerable changes in the vine management process by being one of the first people to use a ground covering method and take a non-chemical approach to wine-farming. In 2012, his son, Fabrice Brunel, joined the team so the family history can continue. View all Andre Brunel Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-Pape(shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern 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.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere 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 regionsWhen 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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.