“That’s Effing Delicious!”
Here at Wine Access, we think of Matt Deller MW as the laid-back Master of Wine who quietly delivers rare gems like the 97-point 2005 Vega Sicilia Unico to our clients. We don’t expect outbursts, but every once in a while, when he’s really excited about a wine, Matt lets loose. At our most recent Master Wine Team judging panel, MW candidate Vanessa Conlin poured Matt a glass of the 2015 Féraud-Brunel Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. Bright strawberry, fresh earth, lavender, and anise jumped from the glass. Blackberry, black strawberry, truffle and black olive followed on the palate, all braced by seamless tannins. “That’s effing delicious!” Matt yelled. Few people were expecting such a reaction from an under-$20 bottle, but this is no average wine. The 2015 Féraud-Brunel Côtes-du-Rhône Villages was made by two of Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s star winemakers, Laurence Féraud of Domaine du Pégau and André Brunel of Domaine Les Cailloux — Brunel’s wines have earned reviews of up to 97 points from Robert Parker while Féraud’s have cracked 100. At $18 per bottle, the 2015 Féraud-Brunel is looking like a late candidate for our Rhône Wine of the Year. 75 cases won’t last long.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate called André Brunel’s Domaine Les Cailloux “a benchmark for the quality of any given vintage thanks to the energetic and very talented proprietor, Andre Brunel.” Equally complimentary of Laurence Féraud, The Advocate wrote, “When it comes to traditional Chateauneuf du Pape, no one does it better than Domaine du Pegau’s Laurence…” The talented pair began making wine together under the Féraud-Brunel label in 1998, sourcing old-vine Grenache from the best growers in the Côtes-du-Rhône.
Almost two decades later, in one of the greatest vintages the Rhône has ever seen — Wine Spectator awarded the 2015 vintage 97 points in the South and 99 points in the North — Féraud and Brunel crafted a classic Côtes-du-Rhône that drinks well above its pay grade. The juicy black and red fruit, stunning elegance, and vibrant energy of the 2015 Féraud-Brunel Côtes-du-Rhône Villages was enough to get a Master of Wine out of his chair, so we don’t recommend waiting around for this one.