Andre Brunel Cotes du Rhone Villages Cuvee Sabrine 2010
Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
Andre Brunel, the renowned producer in Chateauneuf-du-Pape of Les Cailloux maintains this wonderful old vineyard for Guy Dours, in the village appellation of Chusclan, on the western bank of the Rhone River. Chusclan is just north of Lirac and on the same latitude as Gigondas.
This wine is a blend of 75% 40+ year old Grenache blended with 30+ year old Syrah, and a dollop of Mourvedre. The vinification is classic Brunel with 80% of the grapes de-stemmed to ensure the purity and roundness of the Grenache fruit. This tiny cuvée is entirely made in stainless steel tank and fashioned in a supple, open style with a powerful core of fruit.
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.
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About Cotes du Rhone
A Cote of Many Grapes
The appellation of Côtes du Rhône encompasses much of the land of the area, not to mention much of the wine – over two-thirds of the wine produced here is of the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. Wines here need only be from the Côtes de Rhône geographic area (which is fairly large) and consist of one or more of the 22 varieties permitted. Being such a wide classification, it's a surprise and joy that so many of these wines reach such a high quality. While there are areas in the Northern Rhône that meet the classification of Côtes du Rhône, most all of this appellation is in the Southern Rhône. Wines here are based mostly on Grenache, like other Rhône reds, while the whites focus on Marsanne and Roussanne. Viognier is also allowed although typically used in smaller quantities.
There is one higher level in the Côtes du Rhône called Côtes du Rhône Villages. These wines are from specific village areas that have a few more standards the wine must reach to receive the village label. Some to take note of are Cairanne, Rasteau, Seguret and Beaumes-de-Venise. The good thing about both Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages is that big producers of the smaller appellations are taking the opportunity and freedom offered by this broad appellation and creating wines of very high quality, and lower in price.
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.