Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to catch up with the amiable Fabrice Brunel of Domaine Les Cailloux in Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the Southern Rhone, to taste his new vintages. The CNDP Cuvee Centenaire 2015 cask sample I tasted was a beautiful, picturesque, snapshot into the final cuvee due to be released in about 12 months time at the end of 2017. The 2015 vintage will of course be the most hotly anticipated release from this domaine since the 97 point 1998 and possibly even since the 100 point 1990!
The sample I tasted was the pure 100% Grenache version, but as Fabrice confirmed… “we will add one barrique of Syrah to enhance the complexity of the wine on the finish and to enhance it’s ageing capacity.” The domaine will release about 3,000 bottles, of which only around 250 bottles will be allocated to the UK market. So expect a bit of a gold rush on this wine.
Tasting Note: Domaine Les Cailloux Cuvee Centenaire 2015 (Grenache Barrel Sample Feb 2017) ~ This rich, decadent Grenache is made from vines planted in 1889, and is due to be aged up to 24 months in 500L oak casks. It has soft, lush, lifted exotic aromatics of ripe quince confit, sweet black peppercorns, raisined cranberries and red caramelized plums. The palate is full and fresh with a powerful, tight knit texture of pithy black cherries, graphite, crushed gravel and hints of hedgerow spice. The tannins are dense and gravelly and add beautiful structure and frame to the wine. Plenty of power, even a touch four-square at the moment, but there is also linear, compact purity too. While still a touch broody in its barrel sample format, there is more than enough to confirm the true greatness and potential that lies in store. Definitely going to be one for the cellar that will require aging.
(Wine Safari Score: 96-98+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)