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The winemaking tradition of the Brunel familydates back to the 17th century. Gaston Brunel, a famous négociant, acquired the Château de la Gardine in Châteauneuf du Pape in 1945. The estate is now run by his two sons, Patrick and Maxime with the help of their wives Eve and Maryse and their children Marie-Odile and Philippe. The estate spreads over 52 ha of vineyards (48 ha of red and 4 ha of white) and 20 ha of forests, all gathered around the property. The domaine is famous for the quality of their wines and for the unique Gardine bottle. Today around 70% of the production is exported in about 30 countries.
The Gardine bottle, both original and elegant, is the result of a happy coincidence...
When he first wanted to expand his cellar, while digging in the ground, Gaston Brunel found a mouth-blown bottle. He loved it and decided to use a similar shape for all his wine. At the beginning, he had to go all the way to Italy to find a glass supplier that was able to make it. Since1964 all the wines have been bottled in the unique La Gardine shaped-bottle.
Red wine. Old vines are nearly 100 years old.
The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee des Generations (Gaston Philippe) is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvedre from 60- to 105-year-old vines, with 80% aged in new oak casks and the balance in older barrels. As one might expect, it is modern in style yet fabulously concentrated displaying notes of soy, creme de cassis, white chocolate, new saddle leather, graphite and spice box. Extremely full-bodied, dense and heady, this massive Chateauneuf will need 8-10 years of cellaring (my 1998 Cuvee des Generations is just beginning to show some maturity). This stunning 2010 should last 30-35 years, and if you are laying down any wine for your children, this might be a consideration. One of the largest estates in Chateauneuf du Pape, Chateau de la Gardine (which has a history dating back to the late 1600s) owns over 120 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape, where they enjoy a long track record of exceptional success. Remarkably, the Brunel family that owns this estate has been vineyard owners since 1670, acquiring La Gardine in 1945. Little has changed in the thirty years I have been covering Chateauneuf du Pape other than the fact that they have introduced a totally unsulphured cuvee, Peur Bleu, and their blockbuster l’Immortelle. The intention is to use small oak casks and make a more modern-styled wine with aging potential of three decades or more. Despite the use of their own bottle form (that varies considerably from the type of bottle used by most Chateauneuf du Pape producers), they age the l’Immortelle in a truncated oak vat and the unsulphured cuvee in 600-liter demi-muids. The 2010s are of high quality across the board. Except for the Traditional cuvees, they are long-term propositions for serious connoisseurs who have the necessary wine storage facilities to give these wines some time to come into full maturity. ~94+ Robert Parker Drink 2020-2055
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