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Clos des Brusquières, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016

 The Clos des Brusquières is an old property, owned by the Courtil-Thibaut family, whose cellars are located in what appears to be a family house on the edge of the village. It’s a very low-key operation, run by Claude and his two sons, David and Jérome. Inherited from his grandfather, Claude’s father died when he was only three years old and so the vineyard was rented out for several years until he was old enough to take control. The domaine extends to some 10 hectares of vines, divided into numerous parcels, including one within the walls of the château itself. The vineyards include all thirteen varieties permitted in the appellation but, like Bonneau, there is a strong reliance on Grenache, which accounts for up to 80% of the blend. The white varieties are simply vinified with the red grapes, since there is only one single red expression of Châteauneuf-du-Pape produced here. Initially the nose gives off things like vanilla, toast, tobacco, red fruit, cedar. It’s layered with subtle thyme, clove , cinnamon , black pepper, and dust. Moving to the taste the wine gives the palate black currant, blackberry, leather, blueberry, blackberry, and violet. The vanilla from the oak is evident along with the smoke and toast that was on the nose.

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