Brunel, Les Cailloux, AOC Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vaucluse, PACA, France, 2007
This wine: lot No. not found; typically a grenache noir dominated blend with mourvèdre, syrah and cinsaut, each variety being vinified separately; destemmed except 30% of the grenache, fermented in concrete vat; syrah barrel aged 1-2 years, 18 months in concrete vat for the others; final blending 6 months before bottling; coated natural cork closure, 14% abv, unknown source, ~£50 (10/18)
Consumer tasting note: a Chauteauneuf with a pleasing balance of red and black berries in various guises with counterbalancing notes of dark chocolate, old leather, hazelnut and spice. Not too evolved and not too demanding, with medium tannins and some sweetness in mid-palate.
Drink now – RTD, but will keep – Wait. Decant for an hour.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears [a 1/4 teaspoon of solid sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of dark red cherry jam with a spicy edge, passing whiff of vanilla, black pepper, beeswax, low-key struck match, leaf humus, old leather, black berry, dried cranberry and cherry, red currant jelly, dark chocolate, and after some time black liquorice.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a sensation of sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours of a touch of wet prune, stewed red cherry, dark glace cherry, dried red berries, a touch savoury, a hint of hazelnut, hint of black liquorice, macerated black cherry. A long length with a clean dried red berry finish and a hint of hazelnut on the end of a moderate grip.
Quality: very good, well-balanced fresh acidity and ripe moderate tannins, altogether harmonious; sound intensity throughout, with similar concentration; showing a moderate-high complexity, with a fully developed profile, with evidence of time in very well-integrated oak, and bottle. Finishes long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for up to 3 years – a sound structure and balance, fully developed, with an attractive sensory profile, which will not improve.