Hedonistic to the extreme and pushing the ripeness scale, yet keeping everything in check, the 2007 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire (almost 100% Grenache, with a splash of Mourvèdre, that’s from the Farguerol lieu-dit in the northwest part of the appellation) is a knockout Châteauneuf-du-Pape that oozes deep blackberry styled fruits, melted licorice, spice cake, roasted meat, and garrigue aromas and flavors. Full-bodied and voluptuous on the palate, with a thick, rich texture that’s brilliantly balanced by incredible freshness and ripe tannin, this gorgeous 2007 doesn’t pull any punches, yet is nevertheless, a monumental wine that has 2+ decades of longevity.
Two brilliant successes are Brunel’s cuvees of 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape. His limited cuvee of approximately 500 cases of the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Centenaire (made from 80% Grenache aged in foudre, and the balance Syrah and Mourvedre aged in one- to three-year-old small barrels) comes primarily from a parcel of 120-year-old vines in the northern part of the appellation in the lieu-dit known as Farguerol. This cuvee has only been made in vintages such as 1989, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, and now 2007. Deep ruby/purple in color, the wine exhibits very up-front, precocious, sexy plum, black currant, and sweet cherry notes intermixed with some floral hints, licorice, and garrigue. It is dense, full-bodied, much more supple and silky-textured than the 2005 or 2001, but seemingly more concentrated than the 2000 version of this wine. It is a brilliant, full-throttle, seamless Chateauneuf du Pape capable of lasting for up to two decades, although few people will be able to resist its exuberant youthfulness. (RP)
Rich, but amazingly silky and elegant, this is layered with blackberry, raspberry and fig fruit and stitched with incense, black tea and warm plum sauce notes, all of it staying remarkably lithe and suave. The superlong finish shows weight and precision as only Grenache can. Tempting now, but should put on weight in the cellar. Drink now through 2030. (JM)
Vivid red color. Seductive, highly expressive aromas of raspberry, anise, Asian spices, smoky minerals and potpourri. Juicy, sweet and palate-staining, with vibrant red and dark berry flavors and superb clarity and back-end florality. The extremely long finish leaves sweet floral pastille and raspberry notes behind. This is one of the most seductive wines of the vintage and is already showing a lot of complexity. (JR)
André Brunel picks this from a vineyard planted in 1889, a blend of Grenache (80 percent) with Mourvèdre and Syrah. The combination of ripeness and maturity give this the flavors of a chocolate-dipped Florentine; it’s nutty and orange-spiced with a soft toffee texture.
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