Feraud-Brunel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Big and meaty, offering massive, plummy fruit, with characteristic spiciness and light mineral character. Big, chewy tannins and a long, lingering finish.
Wine Spectator - "Mellow, with a subtle cinnamon, black tea and singed cedar frame that mingles with the core of lightly steeped currant and plum fruit. Perfumy, revealing an incense note that weaves through the finish. "
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Musky cherry and redcurrant aromas are complicated by notes of garrigue, woodsmoke and pipe tobacco. Offers sappy cherry compote and floral pastille flavors and a hint of licorice, with a peppery nuance adding lift. Closes sweet and very long, with resonating spiciness and slow-building tannins."
"The Brunel family has run this estate with unassailable agility for more than two decades. André Brunel is one of the most intelligent of the younger generation in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and seems to produce fine wines regardless of vintage conditions."
– Robert M. Parker
Brunel is a promising negociant enterprise that began in 1998 with the partnership between Laurence Féraud and André Brunel of Châteauneuf-du- Pape. Brunel is best known for Les Cailloux and Féraud is known for Pegau. Given their significant contacts in the southern Rhône Valley, their goal is to purchase wine from old, established, primarily Grenache vineyards. What sets this venture apart from other negociants is that it is run with the savoir-faire of truly exceptional winemakers working in perfect partnership.
Laurence Féraud & André Brunel have selected the terroirs in the Côtes-du-Rhône which they find most interesting and found talented winemakers who work year round with their oenologist, Philippe Cambie. Before the harvest, they work in the same manner as on their estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, setting the yields and the farming practices, and closely following the ripening and sanitary state of the grapes. The fermentation of each wine is adapted to the qualities of the terroir, and when they feel the moment is right, they bring the wines to their cellars in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. After a period of ageing that marries the expression of terroir with a hard core of ripe fruit, the wines are bottled without fining or filtration. The result is a range of Côtes-du- Rhône wines of stunning quality, truly representative of their appellation and vintage. View all Feraud-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 & 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