– 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
Rasteau is its own appellation when it comes to vins doux natural (sweet wines) but is only a Côtes du Rhône Village when it comes to dry wines (red, white and rose). As an appellation, the sweet wines produced are almost all Grenache-based and red to brown in color. Similar to Beaumes de Venise, but closer in style to the sweet stickies of Australia. Also known as Rancio. As a Cotes du Rhone Village, Rasteau produces excellent wines, some as high quality as any Rhone AC.
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.