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 its 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. In 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.
Tasting Notes: Red wine. From 90+ year old vines. Very long drinking window. See details below.
The dense inky ruby/purple-colored 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee des Generations is backward for a 2004, and should be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage. It exhibits notes of creme de cassis, smoke, toast, and plenty of licorice and chocolate. It is full-bodied, powerful, and unusually tannic and structured for a 2004. Give it 5-7 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 15+ years. A decidedly modern take on Chateauneuf du Pape, but wine built for long-term aging is the rule of thumb from this estate tucked away in the very western reaches of Chateauneuf du Pape. I have cellared their Cuvee des Generations as far back as 1978. It’s a wine that does behave more like a Bordeaux than many Chateauneuf du Papes, requiring a good decade of cellaring, and it may be one of the few wines that takes that long to shed some tannin. Of course it sees aging in new oak barrels, as La Gardine was one of the first to use new oak for its Chateauneuf du Pape, and while the wine can be somewhat internationally styled and oaky in its youth, the wood does get absorbed as the wine ages, and after a decade there is no doubt it is a southern Rhone wine with plenty of Provencal typicity in it. At about age 7-8, the aromas of black cherries and other black fruits intermixed with smoky garrigue notes come to the forefront. ~91+ Robert Parker, WA Drink 2012-2027
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