Les Cailloux is one of the oldest domains in Châteauneuf. Its owner, André Brunel, may be relatively discreet with the media but he is a famous personality in the appellation. The first vintage of Les Cailloux was made in 1950. Never one to follow fashion, this domain has always produced wines that are more delicate in character than effusive. It spans 21 hectares and owes its names to the famous “galet roulés” or pudding stones, that are found in the soil of this region and are an important part of the terroir of many Châteauneuf parcels. Farguerol is one such parcel and it is represented on the Les Cailloux label. To celebrate its centenary in 1989, André Brunel produced the “Cuvée Centenaire”, a special cuvée that has been reproduced in only the most exceptional vintages. Other parcels from this domain are situated on stony, sandy soils rich in clay and gravel. On the 19 hectares that produce red wine, 70% is planted to Grenache, 17% to Mourvèdre, 10% to Syrah and 3% to Cinsault. The Cuvée Centenaire, when it is bottles separately, represents only 6,000 bottles. André Brunel runs a tight ship: herbicides and pesticides are outlawed, and the vines are partially cover cropped. In the winery, concrete and steel vats are preferred so as to retain the fruit aromas. Only the Syrah is matured in oak to round off the tannins.
About the cuvée
This cuvée originated in 1989 to celebrate the centenary of planting the finest plot of the domain. Its soils and sub-soils are rich in clay and the vines are blessed with optimal sunshine as well as a violent mistral wind which contributes to the concentration of the berries. The wine is only made in noteworthy vintages, for example 2017 or 2010 recently, and nowadays the vines are 125 years old. An explosive aromatic bouquet abounds, from blackcurrant to blackberry. On the palate it has impressive roundness with melted tannins. Its length is testimony to its status as "one of the greats".
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