New Wines From The Brunel Family
"Château de la Gardine is a top-flight estate making Châteauneuf du Pape for long-term ageing... Not to be overlooked is the Brunel family’s Château Saint-Roch estate in Lirac, from which some terrific bargains emerge."
- Robert Parker
The winemaking heritage of the Brunel family dates back to the 17th century, but it was the négociant Gaston Brunel who acquired the Château de la Gardine in Châteauneuf du Pape in 1945. The estate is now run by his two sons, Patrick and Maxime, with the help of their wives, Eve and Maryse, and their children, Marie-Odile and Philippe. The estate consists of 52 hectares of vineyards and 20 hectares of forests, all of which surround the château.
The domaine is famous for the quality of its wines and for the distinctive shape of the Gardine bottle. This original and elegant bottle shape is the result of a happy accident. When he began excavating to expand his cellar, Gaston Brunel found an old, mouth-blown bottle buried in the ground. He loved the appearance of it and decided to use a similarly shaped bottle for all of his wines. Since 1964, all of the Gardine wines have been put into these uniquely shaped bottles.
In 1998, the Brunels' belief in the potential of the Lirac terroir led them to purchase the Château Saint-Roch estate in Roquemaure, where a selection of red, white, and rosé wines is produced. Eve Brunel, who is also the oenologist for Château de la Gardine, runs the estate.
Today, the Brunel family has returned to its négoce roots with its Brunel de la Gardine selection, allowing them to offer a wider range of wines from both Southern and Northern Rhône appellations. Patrick Brunel chooses the best wines from an appellation thanks to his longstanding relationships with top growers in each area. The family then uses all of its knowledge and experience of blending and maturing the wines, whilst respecting the traditions and the typicity of each terroir. The Gardine bottle is the Brunel family's signature on this fine range.
It's always a treat to taste any of the Brunels' wines, but these latest arrivals are really something to shout about. The Côtes du Rhône Blanc is an old favourite - one of the most delicious and best value whites on our list, as well as being one of the most flexible for pairing with a wide range of cuisines. The exceptional quality of the 2015 vintage has resulted in an utterly brilliant bottling. The Rasteau and the Condrieu are wholly new to our lineup, but they are already much loved members of our Brunel family!