Benchmark Wines By
Brunel, Andre

Tasting Notes


Happily, the last two bottles of 1998 Cuvee Centenaire from my cellar were representative of the score that has been bestowed above. Dense plum/garnet to the rim, with an extraordinary nose of creme de cassis, blackberry, licorice, camphor, new saddle leather, and scorched earth, the wine is full-bodied, opulent, rich, very pure, and from sound bottles, a great Cuvee Centenaire that comes close to rivaling the perfect 1990. This wine should drink well for another decade or more.


Dark, brooding aromas of fig compote and a spiced Port reduction unfurl from the glass, leading to a rich, velvety palate that shows notes of plum sauce, braised chestnut, macerated boysenberry, bittersweet chocolate ganache and dark rum-soaked prune. There's powerful structure, but the layers of exotic fruit just absorb it all. A very impressive showing.--1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape retrospective. Drink now through 2027.

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Brunel, Andre brand image

The Winery

Andre Brunel—Domaine Les Cailloux

Brunel, who is one of the most articulate spokespersons of Chateauneuf du Pape, continues to fine tune his winemaking, always trying to enhance the fruit and texture. That has been apparent over recent vintages, although some of the old classics are not to be missed.
–Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

Located in the Rhône Valley in Southern France, Domaine Les Cailloux is a producer known for their vast range of white and red wines under the Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône appellations as well as the Vaucluse IGP designation. The Cailloux flagship is their Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grenache blend with smaller quantities of Mourvedre, Syrah, and Cinsaut, and made from the some of the oldest vines in the entire region. The producer gets its name from cailloux roules, which is French for the large rocks sprinkled around the terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and they have been producing wine commercially since 1950.

Vintages to look out for: 1989, 1990, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016

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