Drinks Like a $75 2016 Chateauneuf!
The Brechet family, owners of the world-renowned Chateau Vaudieu Chateauneuf du Pape, have been producing their stunning wines across three appellations since the 1700s. Passed from one family member to the next, it would be upon the death of Gabriel Meffre in 1987 when his daughter Sylvette Bréchet stepped in to take control. She was joined by her son Laurent in 1990 and from his joining, the winery was thoroughly modernized to handle each harvest from the estate’s amazing 32 individual holdings. Laurent took charge and re-demarcated each parcel to take maximum advantage of each square inch of terroir. Hand harvesting of each plot ensued under Laurent’s guidance, and each parcel was vinified separately. The identity of each terroir was thus guaranteed and the Famille Brechet wines were elevated to even higher levels.
In particular, the family’s Lirac holdings became collector’s items within a few short vintages. Laurent identified, within his mosaic of terroirs, a section of his Lirac holdings – adjacent to Chateauneuf – particularly suitable for a 100% Grenache cuvee. This plot was dubbed “Le Temps”, and it sits on the right bank of the Rhone River on a hill known as “Plateau des Chenes”. Planted to quartzite pebbles, and highly affected by the Mistral, this perfect plot produces Grenache of inky color and saturated flavors. Long on the palate, easy to drink young – yet with cellar potential to 15 years – Laurent’s Lirac Plateau des Chenes Le Temps should not be missed – especially from a vintage as perfect as 2016!
Jeb Dunnuck: A smaller production cuvée is the 2016 Lirac Plateau des Chenes Le Temps and it’s up with some of the top wines to ever come out of this appellation. Full-bodied, concentrated, elegant and with ample tannin, it gives up impressive notes of cassis, toasted spice and licorice. It has a touch of oak showing, but that should integrate nicely with a year or two of bottle age. While the Brechet Family is best known for their Châteauneuf du Papes and Gigondas, they make two terrific wines from holdings in Lirac.
Park Street Wine Cellar’s Direct Price: $39.98 (net)