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In a region where raw power usually trumps finesse, we are fortunate that vignerons like the Bruniers are tirelessly striving to bring out the nuance inherent in some of the southern Rhône’s great terroirs. Their Piedlong bottling is an effort to deliver classic, stony Châteauneuf that is accessible both in price and in its early stages of life. It consists of old-vine fruit grown mainly in galets roulés, resulting in a mineral tension even in a hot, dry vintage such as 2015. Sleek and suave on the palate, the Piedlong culminates in a noble tannin that will remind you of the southern Rhône’s potential for wines of real finesse. Paired with a tender roasted leg of lamb, it will be superb young or old.
A well-exposed vineyard littered with galets roulés, Châteauneuf’s famous rounded riverbed stones, Piedlong is the ideal site for Grenache to express the purity, finesse, and minerality typical of the best wines from this appellation. A portion of the fruit—the Mourvèdre—is sourced from the nearby Pignan parcel, which has much sandier soils. This softens the grape’s rugged tannins and allows for an elegant balance in the final blend.
|Blend:||90% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre|
|Producer:||Frédéric & Daniel Brunier|
|Winemaker:||Frédéric & Daniel Brunier|
|Vineyard:||Grenache = 70 years old, Mourvèdre = 50 years old, 13 ha|
|Soil:||Sand on red clay and galets roulés|
|Aging:||Wine is aged in concrete tanks for 1 year, then aged a second year in 50 hl foudre, bottled unfined and unfiltered, aged in bottle for 3 months|
Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.
Inspiring Thirst, page 312