2015 Clos des Brusquieres Chateauneuf du Pape


$44.99 $29.99

Unicorn wines – wines so rare that they become mythical.  Not only do they never hit the shelves of retail, they are rarely even seen in restaurants.

Here is one of them:

“[Henri] Bonneau’s Châteauneuf [du Papes], particularly the mythic Réserve des Célestins, are not only fantastically complex, immense and capable of decades of development; they are also endowed with that rare and magical sense of extra dimension found only in the greatest wines.” – Rare Wine Company.

A description of the actual wine:

“One of the greatest wines ever produced … anywhere … is the 1990. Having consistently merited 100 points (if my scoring system went higher, it would be there), it continues to perform like a young wine, yet is accessible enough to be appreciated for its extraordinary combination of power, complexity, and majestic layers of flavor. The color is a dark plum/ruby to the edge. The monumental bouquet offers up aromas of liquified charcoaled beef intermixed with pepper, smoke, creme de cassis, kirsch liqueur, truffles, and new saddle leather. This full-bodied, viscous, prodigious Chateauneuf du Pape must be tasted to be believed. It is more like a food than a beverage. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2030.” – Robert Parker, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

And that is Henri Bonneau.  If you have one of his Chateauneuf du Papes, please bring several bottles to Waterford so we can check for bottle variation.

Sadly, this unicorn wine is no longer being produced.  Henri passed away in late 2016 and the remains of his estate are still uncertain.  But, in true Waterfordian fashion, we look deeper, and I think we’ve found the silver lining of our so-far-melancholy story.  Henri is survived by his nephew and godson, Claude Courtil.  Before passing, Henri left Claude a few scant acres within the Clos of Brusquieres, Chateauneuf du Pape.  From a tender age, Claude had made wine with Henri, and eventually learned everything he could from him.  And that is what is in the glass:

This wine is a monster – an eruption of black cherry fruit, black pepper, spice, red currants, sage, thyme, smoked meats and roasted plums fills up the glass, cascading its heady perfume to everyone in the room.  Without a doubt, the wine is transporting – it takes you to the southern French countryside, the warmth of heart and hearth, the deep, fulfilling sense of being connected to the land, and also a full belly of delicious wine.  It’s mouthcoating, powerful and deep.  You can of course drink it now, but like his uncle’s wines, Claude’s are built for the long haul.  Fear not in keeping them for a decade, two, three or maybe even four.  Your patience will be thoroughly rewarded.

Some sommeliers (snobs?) call Clos des Bruscquieres the “poor man’s Henri Bonneau Chateauneuf du Pape.”  That’s somewhat insulting yet to our advantage – here is a wine inherited from a master, delivered by his adroit apprentice, into our cellars and glasses, for far, far less.  To my knowledge, this is the first and only time in Wisconsin and as you can guess, a small amount was made.  It won’t last.  Go ahead, ride the unicorn.

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