BraVin arranged a tasting with wines from Lucien & André Brunel. Presenting the wines was Fabrice Brunel, son of André Brunel and the 7th generation, with charm and enthusiasm.
2011 Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sommelongue
This 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault blend has a light, fresh red fruited nose with notes of red currants and raspberry liquorice. Upfront, juicy and good.
The taste is cool, fresh and good with notes of fine red fruit, smooth tannins and acidity and a medium long finish with a fine warmth. For 14 Euro, this is good value.
86p (tasted 2014/10)
2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Cailloux
A young, spicy, warm nose with notes of barely ripe raspberries, sweet lingonberries, garrigue, earth and a bit of plastic (in a good way).
The taste is young, fine and elegant with a very good structure and notes of sweet lingonberries, cranberries and lavender. A long, balanced finish. Still young, this will need 3-5 years in the cellar.
90p (tasted 2014/10)
2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Cailloux
The 2001 is the weak sibling in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape line up. The nose is light and herbal with notes of dry red currants and gravel.
The taste is a bit stiff with notes of dried raspberries, lingonberries and lots of road dust. Light and fairly good but compared to the other vintages, well, no...
86p (tasted 2014/10)
2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Cailloux
This is singing in another tune. The nose is elegant and medium deep with a fine warm herbal note alongside scents of dry resin, sweet lingonberries and warm earth, Very, very good.
The taste is tight and focused, displaying some power and elegance combined. Notes of sweet lingonberries, bonfire, resin and herbs caress the palate. This is good!
92p (tasted 2014/10)
2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Cailloux
Even better is the three year older version! This has evolved into the very beginning of maturity, with notes of fried herbs, warm lingonberries, undergrowth, resin and asphalt. This is hedonistic as well as displaying a fine grip.
The taste is medium bodied with a firm grip and a sweet, warm fruit with notes of dried raspberries, road dust, white pepper, beet roots and resin. A long, warm, finely tuned finish. Somewhat mature but there is no hurry to do the deed. Great stuff!
93p (tasted 2014/110)
2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire
Well, the Cuvée Centenaire is some steps up the quality ladder, when you can compare this cuvée against the Les Cailloux, as we could with both the 2010 and the 2007. The 2010 Cuvée Centenaire is still an infant. The nose is deep and restrained with a spicy lingonberry fruit, expensive tobacco, scorched earth and dark resin. This has lots of tied up muscles. Very, very deep.
The taste is young, potent and almost inky with notes of ripe cranberries, dried raspberries, liquorice and lots of warm earth. There is plenty of young, heft tannins. This needs time, but this displays serious quality.
94p (tasted 2014/10)
2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire
The 2007 is a stunner! It has start to display a touch of maturity with gorgeous notes of sweet/sour lingonberries, garrigue, allspice, raspberry vinegar and bonfire. This has depth, character and structure. Just awesome!
The taste is as great as the nose with notes of sweet lingonberries, rubber, fried herbs and rosemary. The finish goes on forever with finely tuned tannins. Just entering what one could call a mature phase, this will live for a long time. A pure joy!
97p (tasted 2014/10)
2003 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire
Joy isn´t the word to come to mind when tasting the 2003. According to Fabrizio, this is how it should be. Well, then this particular vintage will not be on my shopping list. The nose is big, burly and all over the place with notes of cooked cherries, warm garrigue, root vegetables and burning rubber. A lot of warmth.
The taste is big and fiery with notes of molasses, cooked red fruits, rubber and figs. A lot of warmth in the long finish. I guess that could have been impressing in its youth but time have not, in my mind, been kind to it.
82p (tasted 2014/10)