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Professional Ratings: 96 Wine Spectator, 96 The Wine Advocate, 95 International Wine Cellar
Region: Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Varietal: Rhone Red Blends
Other Info: Boutique Wines, Collectible Wines, Great Wine Gift
Item no. 125543
The Cuvee Centenaire bottling is among the rarest and most sought after wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is produced from ancient vines planted in 1889. The Centenaire vineyard is planted to roughly 80% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre and 8% Syrah. The Grenache, which is often picked at 16 degrees potential alcohol, is vinified and aged in tank, while the Mourvedre and Syrah are finished in small barrels for up to 24 months. Brunel only makes the Cuvée Centenaire in the finest vintages, otherwise the old-vine fruit is used in the "regular" Les Cailloux bottling.
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.
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.
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.