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Community Tasting Notes (average 38 notes) - and median of 93 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by DFC on 1/18/2015 & rated 90 points: This was the third bottle opened tonight in hopes of finding a palatable one. The first two, which had the lowest fills of my cellared bottles, were oxidized and not really drinkable. So sad, too, as this wine has been a unbelievable performer over the years. Guess I shouldn't have gone 7 years between bottles! Hoping the remaining bottles with better fills are much better. (409 views)|
| ||Tasted by europat55 on 1/6/2015 & rated 90 points: An excellent mature CdP, but not as extraordinary as the previous bottles I had... (193 views)|
| ||Tasted by salil on 10/4/2014 & rated 92 points: Fully mature and drinking very well now. The structure's completely integrated, and it has a very graceful, silky mouthfeel with lots of sweet red berried fruit, spicy brambly and garrigue notes, and more savoury earthy and leathery notes that come together seamlessly. A fantastic pairing with duck confit. (1277 views)|
| ||Tasted by tooch on 8/12/2014 & rated 95 points: Rhone Dinner (The Bristol - Chicago, IL): A stunning wine. So much going on here with tons of secondary and tertiary notes of earth, florals, red fruits, and stone. Jim mentioned that it was more like a Burgundy with its elegant floral notes, and I'd have to agree. Still had a great backbone, and the depth of flavor was just off-the-charts. (1456 views)|
| ||Tasted by Jeff Leve on 5/31/2014 & rated 88 points: The fruit felt like it was fading. Medium bodied, with spicy red cherries, garrigue and herbs, the soft textured wine was a bit short in the finish. Drink up if you have any bottles as it's all downhill from here. (1655 views)|
| ||Tasted by WineBerg on 5/18/2013 & rated 94 points: CdP Night: Gently decanted. Leftovers rebottled until today. TN is on the leftovers. |
Definitely in it's drinking window, with years left to it. Cranberry, rose, garrigue, herbs, bit of funk, a slight smokiness.
Very smooth on the palate, with a 30+ second finish. Probably another decade at least on this with proper storage. (2148 views)
| ||Tasted by europat55 on 10/28/2012 & rated 92 points: Euro Themed Lunch - Rhones (Donato Enoteca, Redwood City, CA): In line with previous showing of this wine, with licorice, spices, leather and well integrated tannins but a little bit of heat on the nose. Outstanding mature Cailloux! (2583 views)|
| ||Tasted by Richard Jennings on 10/28/2012 & rated 93 points: Rhone-Themed Euro Lunch (Donato Enoteca, Redwood City, California): Bricked medium dark red violet color; lifted, brett, roasted plum, garrigue, ginger cake nose; silky textured, garrigue, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish 93+ points (735 views)|
| ||Tasted by zovizule on 9/14/2012: beautiful, silky mature and fully integrated. This bottle defintely not over the hill - but seemingly holding at a lovely place - wish I had more. (2280 views)|
| ||Tasted by DUKEUNC on 2/12/2012 & rated 93 points: Very nice, smooth, great nose. (2429 views)|
| ||Tasted by spaniel on 11/17/2011 & rated 93 points: Still drinking well. Very complex. Mellowing tannins. (2599 views)|
| ||Tasted by fclarity on 8/14/2011 & rated 91 points: Tasted blind, this wine had a medium red center with light, oranging rims. The medium+ intensity nose featured soil, black cherry, and smoked meat.|
In the mouth it was medium bodied with nice rounded tannin and good length. This appears to be drinking now and should stay in the zone for the next 10 years or so. (1784 views)
| ||Tasted by Eric on 10/18/2010: Dinner at Le Pichet with Dan Kravitz (Seattle, WA, USA): I tend to love this giant killer of a wine, and it started in a very promising way with deep, intense color on first pour. The palate offered less than I hoped for, nicely peppery and loaded with sweet cherries and bramble, this seemed to break up rather quickly. As it sat in the glass it seemed to lose color and was clearly quite cloudy. On any other night I think this one have been one to savour, but in this lineup it ended up a bit lost. Still a terrific pour. (3174 views)|
| ||Tasted by europat55 on 8/16/2010 & rated 94 points: Once again, this wine delivers! What an intoxicating nose!! As reported by others: Red fruit and complex spice and leather notes. Silky smooth palate with integrated tannins. Outstanding! (2266 views)|
| ||Tasted by europat55 on 6/4/2010 & rated 95 points: AWESOME nose that makes you want to smell this wine for hours!! I didn't see the little annoyance in the finish that I saw with the previous bottle. I was worried when I opened the bottle since the cork was very wet with a wine stain on top of it, but it didn't seem to affect the wine too much. The amazing nose fades away with heat so make sure to drink chilled (60-64) and not at room temperature or it will kill the experience... but I'm sure you already know that!! ;) (2477 views)|
| ||Tasted by spaniel on 5/27/2010 & rated 94 points: What an intoxicating nose! I simply could not stop thrusting my nose into the glass and taking in deep inhalations of its heady perfume. Red fruit and complex spice notes. Silky smooth palate with integrated tannins. Lovely gear. (2586 views)|
| ||Tasted by europat55 on 4/19/2010 & rated 92 points: Brown/red ruby color, lots of sediments, amazing nose, very well integrated tannins, but somewhat strange finish that stops me from giving this bottle a 93-95. Great bottle! (2488 views)|
| ||Tasted by jrekent on 12/21/2009 & rated 94 points: Along with a couple of Burgundies, the finest wine that I have tasted. Vibrant strawberry ruby red, perfumed. Wonderfully balanced and rich on the palate, with complex fruit flavors that are fragrant rather than overpowering, but which linger. Enough acidity to keep the whole experience vibrant. I shared the wine with 3 others but drank about half of it myself. :-) (2564 views)|
| ||Tasted by cct on 7/3/2009 & rated 94 points: Jeweled ruby in color with a flat out beautiful nose of kirsch, earth, bloody meat, anise, provencal herbs, wet leather, and mineral. Rich and yet not heavy. Mid to full weighted and very well balanced. More earth, lavender, meat, anise, and dirt with no lack of fruit. The tannins are terribly well integrated right now with a fine presence on the back end, with everything in damn near perfect balance. Flat out beautiful. This will not beat you over the head with extract or size, but will win you over with its balance. This kind of wine brings me great joy. At absolute peak for my palate. The best and sadly last bottle of mine. 94 pts. (2884 views)|
| ||Tasted by pbaek on 2/8/2009: 2003 CdP tasting at Rothmann's Steakhouse, New York. Brought by Josh. Here is a great bottle of mature Chateauneuf. I didn't take detailed notes but one of the wines of the evening for me. (2867 views)|
| ||Tasted by Brad L on 1/17/2009: I was really not paying attention while drinking this but my memory was of good 89 structure, warm, open, what you'd expect. I'm not sure I would quite put this at the level some commenters have, it was very good, but not outstanding. Kacher importation. (2850 views)|
| ||Tasted by Eric on 10/30/2007 & rated 96 points: Seattle Tasting Group does Châteauneuf-du-Pape (mostly Pegau) (Seattle, WA): Wow! What a nose, balsamic, pine, really tight and piercin. Mmm, this is unreal on the palate, really vibrant, mouthwatering, peppery, intense, youthful with fantastic acidity and a very sweet, pure core of fruit. Beautiful! (3878 views)|
| ||Tasted by jdunnuck on 9/2/2007 & rated 94 points: Dinner with friends (Rico's): This is the second bottle I've had of this and it's simply an outstanding wine that is drinking at it's peak. The nose is clean with rich cherry and other red fruits mixed with earth, cedar and dusty spice notes. Medium bodied with a stunning, mouthfilling texture, beautiful balance and amazing depth and length on the finish. Drinking perfectly and amazing stuff. (3780 views)|
| ||Tasted by DFC on 5/20/2007 & rated 96 points: Double decanted for one hour off of sediment. Dark ruby in color with light bricking. On the nose, red fruits, sandalwood, and spice. On the palate, classically seductive cherries and garrigue. Wow, now we're talking...this baby is silky and impeccably balanced...another fantastic performance by the '89 Les Cailloux! (3309 views)|
| ||Tasted by jdunnuck on 2/26/2006 & rated 94 points: Dinner with friends (Rob's house): Wow, what a treat. Just a gorgeous wine and drinking awesome with lots of forest floor, dried cherries and mushroom notes on the nose. With air, more red fruits and exotic spice notes came out while the earth and mushroom notes faded. Medium to full bodied with an outstanding palate that shows ripe, sweet fruit and great weight. Not a jagged edge anywhere and silky smooth with a long finish. Loved it. 94/95 points. (4275 views)|
| ||Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...|
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of The Rhone Report and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)
|By Jeb Dunnuck|
The Rhone Report, Bonus Reviews (9/2/2007)
(Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape) Login and sign up and see review text. 94 points
|By Jeb Dunnuck|
The Rhone Report, Bonus Reviews (2/26/2006)
(Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape) Login and sign up and see review text. 94 points
|By Richard Jennings|
(Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape) Bricked medium dark red violet color; lifted, brett, roasted plum, garrigue, ginger cake nose; silky textured, garrigue, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish 93+ points 93 points
Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Producer website - Read about Les Cailloux
The Brunel family have been making wine in the Chateauneuf du Pape region since the 17th Century and the estate, currently under the guidance of Andre, is without doubt making some of the finest wines in the region, whether they are the entry level Cotes du Rhone or Chateauneuf du Pape, Les Cailloux. Since 1989, from a small parcel of land whose vines average over 115 years in age, he has in the finest vintages produced a separate "Cuvee du Centenaire".
André Brunel owns this well-known Chateauneuf du Pape property. He is the third generation of his family to manage the property. Fittingly, Domaine Les Cailloux takes its name from the cailloux roulés, which is the the French term for the large stones found littered all over the Chateauneuf du Pape region, and of course their vineyards.
The entire property of Domaine Les Cailloux is vast, covering well over 50 acres. Their vineyards occupy 17.3 hectares. The main grape variety they grow is Grenache. Some of their vines are among the oldest in Chateauneuf du Pape. They are close to 120 years old! The terroir is filled with loam, limestone and as we mentioned earlier, stones. They also have plantings on sandy terroir as well.
The Les Cailloux standard Chateauneuf du Pape is usually a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 12% Syrah and 3% of different grape varieties. The vines are on average 60 years of age. After harvest, about 70% of the grapes are destemmed. Following fermentation, the Grenache ages in enamel coated vats. The Syrah and Mourvedre are aged in 1 – 3 year-old small barrels. On average, the wines remain in vat or barrel for between 15 to 20 months, depending on the character and grape varietal.
The top wine of Les Cailloux is their Cuvee Centenaire, which made its debut in 1989. comes from their oldest Grenache from vines averaging over 100 years of age. About 10% Syrah and an equal portion of 10% Mourvedre are included in the blend. For this special wine, the Grenache ages for 15 to 20 months in a combination of foudres and one to three year old barrels. The other varieties age in demi muids. Not much of this is made, production hovers close to 500 cases per vintage, when the wine is produced.
Domaine de 18 hectares à Châteauneuf-du-Pape qui doit son nom à l’une des douze parcelles qui le composent, celle de Farguerol au sol typique recouvert de cailloux roulés.
C ‘est cette parcelle qui est représentée sur l’étiquette et dont on a fêté le centenaire de la plantation qui a eu lieu en 1989 en élaborant pour la première fois une cuvée spéciale du millésime 1989, la « Cuvée Centenaire », qui sera renouvelée à chaque millésime exceptionnel.
Les autres parcelles sont situées sur des types de sols presques tous caillouteux, avec des sables ocres, des argiles blanches et grises, des terres rouges et des graviers.
Sur les 16 hectares qui produisent du vin rouge, 65 % sont plantées en Grenache, 20 % en Mourvèdre, 12 % en Syrah et 3 % avec les autres cépages.
Récolte, vinification et élevage
Les raisins sont vendangés très mûrs au cours du mois de septembre et octobre, ils sont éraflés à 70 %, puis foulés à 50 %. La cuvaison dure de trois à quatre semaines.
Une fois les fermentations alcooliques et malolactiques terminées, le vin est débarrassé de ses grosses lies, puis élevé sur lies fines, la majure partie en cuves émaillées, le reste en fûts de chêne, 1/3 de fûts neufs, 1/3 de fûts d’un vin, 1/3 de fûts de deux vins.
L’élevage dure de seize à vingt mois, puis les différentes cuvées sont assemblées et deux mois plus tard le vin est mis en bouteilles.
On peut commencer à le boire quelques mois après, car l’élevage long lui a apporté de la rondeur, mais on peut aussi le conserver plus de dix ans au cours desquels il évoluera lentement.
La production annuelle en rouge est d’environ 70 000 bouteilles ; la Cuvée Centenaire, lorsqu’elle est embouteillée séparément représente 6000 bouteilles (80% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre, 8% Syrah).
Red Rhone Blend Read about the different grapes used to produce red and white Rhone wines
On CellarTracker, Red Rhone Blend is the term for a wine consisting of two or more of the traditional 13 Southern Rhone grape varieties. Typically it's the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre or Cinsault grapes, but can also contain the Muscardin, Counoise, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, Roussanne, Terret Noir, Picardan or Vaccarese grapes.
A 'food' wine. Lacking pretension and intended for local consumption with local cuisine. Lacks the 'high' notes on a Bordeaux, more earthy and sharper so often a better partner to meat dishes with a sauce.
France Vins de France (Office National Interprofessionnel des Vins ) | Pages Vins, Directory of French Winegrowers | French Wine (Wikipedia)
Rhône Guide to the wines, wineries and appellations in the Rhone Valley The Rhône Valley/Le Vins de la Vallée du Rhône (Comité Interprofession des vins AOC Côtes et vallée du Rhône)
Southern Rhône Guide to the wines, wineries and appellations in the Southern Rhone Valley
RP APPRAISAL OF SOUTHERN RHONE VINTAGES:
WA: 2011 88R / 2010 98T / 2009 93E/ 2008 86R / 2007 98E / 2006 92R / 2005 95T / 2004 88R / 2003 90I / 2002 58C / 2001 96T / 2000 98E
### 2005 ###
In southern Rhone, 2005 was a below average sized crop, because of continuing drought and the fact that there are so many old vineyards where low yields are the rule of thumb even in an abundant year. While 2005 is truly an excellent vintage in the south, I do not believe it is a compellingly great vintage, because it has more in common with beefed up, improved version of 1995 than with what I consider an irrefutably great vintage like 1998, 2001 or even 2000. Certainly the wines have plenty of structure and possess fresher, more vibrant acidities than most years provide. The top wines also display impressive levels of concentration. However all the 2005s tend to reveal a certain firmness, and if the grapes were picked too soon, or the vinification/upbringing were not carefully handled, there is a toughness and austerity to the tannins that ultimately will prove to be problematic. Nevertheless, there is an ocean of top wines.
### 2007 ###
The 2007 vintage in Southern France was wonderful. Here is what controversial Robert M. Parker (Wine Advocate Issue 179) said about it, “Throughout the southern Rhône, 2007 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in my thirty years working in that region. I think of 2007 as a hypothetical blend of an opulent, powerful, sumptuous year such as 1990, and a cooler draught vintage such as 2001. The cool weather and the remarkable three weeks of Mistral in September that concentrated the grapes without any spikes of high heat appears to have given the 2007s an aromatic dimension and freshness that I have rarely witnessed. Combine that with wines that are substantial, powerful, and relatively high in alcohol, with super depth of fruit! These are very aromatic wines of great concentration, freshness, laser-like focus, and amazing purity as well as depth. It is the vintage of my lifetime for this region, and I don’t say that lightly.”
### 2010 ###
Robert Parker, on the 2010 vintage:
"Some producers think 2010 eclipses 2007 because of the wines' vivid freshness and focus. Throughout the southern Rhône, the hallmarks of the vintage are very dense purple, sometimes even blue/black colors as well as higher acid levels that have not been seen since 2004 and 2001. In fact, 2010's paradox is that I can't remember a vintage so concentrated, powerful and rich that also has such zesty acidity. The 2010s will have significant aging potential, which is obvious in the level of tannins, but the tannins are sweet with exceptional elegance and finesse. The ratio of high extractive and phenolic skins to the juice has produced wines of extraordinary intensity, freshness, aromatic potential and obvious longevity. This is another great vintage that offers an embarrassment of riches for this region that has enjoyed a succession of extraordinary years."
### 2011 ###
- "has most Rhône vintners exceedingly optimistic for a third straight outstanding year…" -Wine Spectator
- "fans of fruit-forward, accessible wines will find plenty to like from '11, which looks to be an ideal candidate for restaurants as well as for wine lovers…" -Stephen Tanzer
- “we have got 2011 which is a combination of these two great vintages." -Michel Chapoutier on how 2011 is a combination of the 2009 and 2010 vintage
- The 2011 Southern Rhone Region was Rated 89-92 by Wine Spectator's Vintage Chart!
(By Wine Spectator
2011 Vintage Report: France
A first look at vintage quality in French wine regions, with eyewitness reports from growers and winemakers
Posted: November 14, 2011
The 2011 harvest has most Rhône vintners exceedingly optimistic for a third straight outstanding year, though a handful rued some late rains and heat that blemished what could have been a perfect growing season.
By Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
2011 and 2010 Southern Rhone Wines
By Josh Raynolds
"...fans of fruit-forward, accessible wines will find plenty to like from '11, which looks to be an ideal candidate for restaurants as well as for wine lovers who lack the facilities or patience for long-term storage.
Fans of graceful, fruit-driven Rhone wines will find plenty to like from 2011 and, as was the case in 2008, 2006 and 2004…"
Michel Chapoutier on 2011 in Rhone Valley: A detailed Early Report
26 Octobre 2011
The tastings of the 2011 vintage have recently given an opportunity for Michel Chapoutier to give his first impressions of the quality of this vintage for the appellations of the Rhone Valley. Prior to the presentation of each appellation, he noted that "after a warm and sunny 2009 vintage that resulted in the exuberance of grape varieties, 2010 was a fresher year with slow maturities which generally gave tense wines - to those who were able to wait for the phenolic maturity - some mineral wines, elegant with an outward expression of the soil, we have got 2011 which is a combination of these two great vintages. "
"This 2011 harvest in Rhone Valley was both early and late: a real paradox!"
By Wine Spectator’s Vintage Chart
Drink Rec: NYR
Description: Warm spring, but cool, wet weather in July and August led to uneven ripening; Indian summer saved the vintage. Grenache is light, but Syrah and Mourvèdre strong, so blending key; there will be some excellent wines, but heterogenous from domaine to domaine.)
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Châteauneuf-du-Pape Appellation - Read more about Chateauneuf du Pape
Another site on this appellation
Vineyards on weinlagen-info
"As I have written many times in the past, the sweet spot for drinking Châteauneuf du Papes is usually the first 5-6 years after the vintage. Then they seem to go through an adolescent, awkward, and sometimes dormant stage, only to re-emerge around year 10-12, where the majority of wines are often fully mature. The best of them will continue to hold on to life (but rarely improving) beyond 15-20 years. It is only the exceptional Châteauneuf du Papes that will evolve for 20-25+ years, and those are indeed a rarity. However, things may be improving dramatically in terms of the longevity of Châteauneuf du Pape, although Grenache-dominated wines, the vast majority of wines produced in the appellation, are wines that do not have the polyphenol (extract and tannin) content of top Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, or Syrah-based wines. Nevertheless, the younger generation in Châteauneuf du Pape has taken seriously the farming in the vineyards. There are more organic and biodynamically run vineyards here than in any other appellation of France. The yields, which were already low, are even lower today (20-35 hectoliters per hectare), and of course, the proliferation of top luxury and/or old-vine cuvées gives a significant boost to the number of wines that will evolve past 25 or 30 years. The advantage of these wines is their broad window of drinkability." ( Robert Parker )