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Must Buy/Best Buy

The name Andre Brunel is synonymous with great wine from the Southern Rhone. His Chateauneuf du Pape, Les Cailloux, is a benchmark for the region. I first discovered his wines back in the late 1980’s and have been a fan ever since. This offering, 2015 Cotes du Rhone Villages “Cuvee Sabrine” is an absolute stunner. And at less than $15 per bottle, one of the great wine bargains to be found anywhere. Buy this one by the case you will be glad you did.



The Brunel family’s winemaking history reaches back to the 17th century with the purchase of a vineyard plot to the north of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation from the Bishop of Avignon. The NNumerous generations followed, all working in the vineyards, but it was in 1954 that Lucien Brunel created the name “Les Cailloux” or “The Pebbles” to promote the Domaine’s wine qualities and special geological characteristic of the large oval stones coving his vineyards. In 1971, Lucien’s son André Brunel took the reins at Domaine les Cailloux. His endless motivation and eye for quality resulted in a steady expansion of the family’s vineyards with acquisitions in the Côtes du Rhône and select plots of Vaucluse Vins de Pays. In 1989 he launched the now infamous Cuvée Centenaire and continued to improve the vineyard management practices. André was one of the first in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to use tailored ground cover methods and practice a non-chemical approach to wine-farming.

*2015 Cotes du Rhone Villages
Cuvee Sabrine
Andre Brunel
$14.50btl/$174.00 per case
(Jim Sirna 93)

Want to drink a wine that is as good or better than many Chateauneuf du Papes that cost more than twice as much? Dumb question. This wine from the very talented Andre Brunel punches way above its price. It has a deep ruby color. Aromas of blackberries, herbs de Provence, anise and pepper create a beguiling bouquet. The intensity and ripeness of the fruit surge on the palate. There are no rough edges and the wine is superbly balanced. The finish is plump, voluptuous and lingers quite long. This is a Must Buy for all wine lovers even at twice what we are selling it for!
(Wine Advocate 89-92)
Barrel Sample
A year in, year out killer wine is the 2015 Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvee Sabrine (80% Grenache and 20% Syrah), which is loaded with Provençal charm and offers lots of ripe black raspberries, spiced cherries, garrigue and leather aromas and flavors. It’s slightly more layered, concentrated and complex than the Feraud Brunel release, and has medium to full-bodied richness and sweet tannin, all suggesting it will drink nicely for 4-5 years.