DOMAINE ANDRE BRUNEL, 'LES CAILLOUX' CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE
RHÔNE VALLEY, FRANCE
We lost a great one in February: André Brunel, the winemaker who, perhaps more than any other, deepened our understanding, and our love, of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Judging from the outpouring of sentiment in the wine world, we are by no means alone.
You could think of this two-fer as our tribute to one of the wine world's luminaries, but make no mistake: there's no dusty sentimentality in our choosing them.
André knew how to make exceptional wine, and these two are glorious testaments to his passion and craft.
Jeb Dunnuck perfectly captures our enthusiasm for the 'Les Cailloux' CDP Rouge 2019, calling it "flat-out brilliant," a "full-bodied, perfectly balanced, seamless" wine with "ripe tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish."
And here's the kicker: "readers looking for an incredible wine that will drink well for upwards of two decades should back up the truck on this one."
Back up the truck, indeed: this is one you’ll want to lay in for a case of, at least.
Brunel was a mathematician who taught school in his 20s before returning home to make wine, as the four generations of men before him had also done, and this bottle is characteristic of the style he evolved into, one marked by consummate precision and balance.
A blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 12% Syrah, and 3% Cinsault, it was aged predominantly in concrete tank, with 12% brought up in old barrels.
Brunel's 'Les Cailloux' CDP Blanc displays that same trademark precision and balance. To produce this gem, Brunel drew from two different plots, each growing a single grape variety. The blend — 80% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc — is atypical for a Châteauneuf-du-Pape white. Each succeeds in balancing the other. The Roussanne yields fantastic aromatics, finesse and elegance, while the Grenache Blanc brings structure and energy. We would be remiss for not mentioning its ageability, which should bring the wine new depths and dimensions as it matures.
It's always a sad moment when we lose someone who enriches our life with beauty and pleasure and understanding. But he has left an incredible inheritance to his children, and to us, the wine lovers of the world.
RIP André, and we look forward to paying you the ultimate homage in lingering for hours at a time over your gorgeous wines.
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Fall 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NY or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022.