January 8, 2021 Comments (0) Views: 598 Good Wine Revolution, Try This

Try This $20 Cairanne

Malcolm Jolley finds value in an up and coming region…

Northwest of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, towards Mont Ventoux, The Domaine Brunely was purportedly begun in 1420 by a nobleman from Verona by the name of Pellegrin de Brunellis who was sent by the Pope to re-establish the rule of Rome over Avignon and the surrounding lands of Provence. Skipping ahead to the modern era, it has been owned for several generations by the Carichon family, who make wines from all the surrounding regions, including one of the Southern Rhône’s newer appellations, Cairanne. Cairanne is a bit like how Gigondas and Vacqueras were 20 years ago up and coming regions, rivaling the quality of Châteauneuf, but at half the price. Only, it’s now the villages of Cairanne and Rasteau that are doing it to Gigondas and Vacqueras. We’ll see how long prices in Cairanne remain affordable, and before they really start to climb I suggest trying the Domaine Brunely Cairanne 2018 ($19.95 | LCBO# 15520) that’s part of this weekend’s Vintages release before it’s all gone.

The Brunely Cairanne is Grenache dominant (50%), followed by Syrah (30%), Carignan (15%) and Cinsault (5%), from vines ranging in age from about 20 to 65 years old. It’s ‘elevated’, as the French say, for a year in concrete tanks before being bottled. The result is super red fruit forward wine with clean notes of forest berries, a hint of rose aromatics and a Syrah seasoning of a touch of white pepper and a good backbone of acidity that suits the table. At 14% alcohol by volume, the Brunely is in balance, and vinified to a mere four grams of residual sugar per litre. It does well with a little air, so I suggest opening the bottle at least a good half hour or more before serving (or decant, or pour, etc.). I am increasingly excited about older vine Grenache, from the South of France, but also Spain and Australia. The 2020’s may well be a golden era of Grenache based wines. At $20 the Domaine Brunely is certainly worth a try, while it lasts.


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