2007 Unstoppable

2007 Andre Brunel Domaine Becassonne Cotes du Rhone Blanc
White Wine; Rhone Blend; Rhone;
$15.99
Add to Cart
$13.59 per bottle with case discount.
This wine is unstoppable. I was writing about it for the snail mail newsletter, and that phrase ran from my brain, to my fingers, to the screen in front of me. At first I balked, wondering if it was too much of a World Wrestling Federation sort of statement, but I decided I like it. Especially because I think it works, and not only is it describing white wine, but it costs $13.59 per bottle with the case discount. No, this is not a $300, big points, status symbol cabernet, it’s an everybody-pleasing Rhone white that is completely affordable. And it just happens to be unstoppable.

To be more specific: the vineyard is unstoppable. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the winemaker, Andre Brunel, but I think the best thing he does to this wine is he lets it be exactly what the vines produce. It is not a winery-made wine, it is a vineyard-made wine. One sign of a great vineyard is quality across vintages. Good wine every year. I see this very clearly with the Becassonne vineyard: this wine impresses pretty much everyone every vintage. I served the 2006 at my wedding, I recommended it whenever I could, and many a customer was sad to find it sold out. There are enough wines out there that I could avoid writing about new vintages of wines I’ve already featured, but I would be ignoring high quality/high value wine in this case, and that doesn’t make a lot of sense. So here I am with the 2007, because this vineyard just keeps going, producing great wine every vintage. Brunel knows it, and unlike his other Rhones in this range, he pays homage to the site-place and bottles it under its name: Becassonne.

We don’t usually talk vineyard specifics with wines in this price range. That’s because many are blended from multiple sites. Vineyard designates are reserved for more expensive wines from famous names like Chambertin and To Kalon. Here, we have Brunel’s limestone vineyard planted primarily to Roussanne with some Granache Blanc and Clairette. The result rivals many of the whites made in Chateauneuf du Pape, but since it doesn’t have the C-d-P words on the label, it’s no where near as expensive. If I were the owner of the Becassonne vineyard, I would take pleasure in the fact I could produce such outstanding wines and share them with everyone, not just an affluent few. Also, I would be happy that I didn’t have to include in my budget the salary for a Luxury Lifestyle Director. I’m pretty sure those people are expensive, and I guess if you want to charge $100 for Napa Cabernet, it is industry standard to employ someone with experience in pairing wine with sports cars and private helicopters. Lucky for you Andre. You don’t have to worry about that. You’ve got a great vineyard producing great wine at a great price, and you get to sit back and watch it fly out the cellar door.

This is wonderfully classy white Rhone wine. A perfect companion to summer evenings and their meals. The Roussanne frames the limestone minerality with just the right amount of succulent fruit. I don’t know if Andre Brunel knew what he was creating when he planted this vineyard in 1978 (I suspect he had an inkling, he’s a smart guy), but 30 years later: this little point on the planet named ‘Becassone’, you can’t stop it. No reason to even try. – Ben Jordan

2007 Andre Brunel Domaine Becassonne Cotes du Rhone Blanc
White Wine; Rhone Blend; Rhone;
$15.99
Add to Cart
$13.59 per bottle with case discount.
A Full Case of the 2007 Becassone for $13.59 per bottle. Save $28!
$163.08
Add to Cart

Tasting Notes
I mentioned minerality earlier, and this has it. Not the sulphur-driven stuff you find in some Sancerre and other high acid screechers, but a more subtle, round, limestone minerality like we find in the Meursaults and the Chassagne and Puligny Montrachets. There is also a fresh-ripened stone fruit component to it that is lively, refreshing, and clean. ‘Class’ is the operative word here, as the wine is very comfortable in its harmony. If anyone is looking for a poster child for Roussanne based blends, this is both representative and impressive.

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Filed under Ben Jordan, Cotes du Rhone, French Wine, General

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