Famille Brechet Plateau de Chenes Rouge 2011
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
The appearance is an intense purple. The nose develops powerful aromas of black fruits, characteristic of over-ripe Grenache grown on rolled pebbles. There are also slight notes of smoke and spice, usually associated with that of Syrah. The palate has a dense, tannic structure that retains freshness and elegance.
Blend: 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache
The Wine Advocate - "An impressive new performer from Lirac, the Brechet family, who also owns the famous Chateau de Vaudieu in Chateauneuf du Pape (just south of Chateau Rayas), has 37 acres in Lirac. The consulting winemaker is Philippe Cambie, who is largely responsible for the tremendous upsurge in quality at Vaudieu over the last 4-5 years. The 2011 Plateau des Chenes, a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache aged 9 months in foudre and barrel, displays an inky/purple color along with a dense nose of black fruits, forest floor, acacia flowers, pepper and licorice. It possesses fabulous fruit on the attack and mid-palate, beautiful ripeness (especially for a 2011), and a soft, well-made, opulent finish. Drink this 2011 over the next 3-4 years."
Famille Brechet Winery
The Brechet family has owned the vineyards for generations: Augustus and Juliette, Gabriel, and finally Sylvette, Laurent and Julien all share a passion for their wine. Today, Laurent and Julien represent the fifth consecutive generation winemaker of this saga, and are proud to continue the legacy.
Much attention is given to the land and environment. The methods they employ are strictly based on little to no intervention. It is the land that speaks and expresses its identity through each of the wines. In fact, some of the best vineyards are isolated among select vintages to express absolute purity in that renowned vintage.
The work of the Chateau is based on the fact that an entire year contributes to the collection of a vintage should be sound and of the highest quality. Therefore, the sustainable approach produces a low yield, promoting longevity and favoring a natural harmony – again, a restrained intervention.
The grape is the messenger of its environment and conveys the aromas that it amassed during its maturation. By a strict selection, only the most beautiful grapes enter the doors of the cellar. Then, each grape variety, environment and soil type combine to dictate the vinifcation method. Vinification adaptation is influenced and crafted with each vintage. The result is wine that exhibits the greatest purity and sincerity. View all Famille Brechet 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.