Cairanne the gateway to the vineyards of the southern Rhône
The village sitting on a hill with views over the eastward vine carpeted plains and the Aigues river flowing idle by with the cooling Mistral wines kissing your skin and the vines and also what Jancis Robinson called one of the most exciting wine villages in the southern Rhone.
It's wonderful sense of community, I feel the driving force behind people the love and intrigue for Cairanne.
In 2015, the village was awarded Côtes du Rhône Cru status in its own right, an amazing accolade for Cairanne’s wine growers who had worked for decades to protect and promote their unique terroir.
In 1953, Cairanne’s winegrowers were permitted to add the village name to their Côtes du Rhône wines, then later in 1967, their wines were officially awarded Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne status. Still keen to improve quality, Cairanne applied in 2008 for standalone Cru status. This has now been granted, and on 29th June 2016, Cairanne officially became a Cru of the Côtes du Rhône.
Always resisting the easy life, and devoting themselves to their vineyards and the economic development not only of there village, but the region as a whole.
I was lucky enough to sit down with winemaker for Cellier des Dauphins Laurent Pare who had was very excited about the wines from Cairanne and there new 49 hectares of vineyard sit in the AOC.
Also with Matt Walls from Decanter saying ‘’Since receiving cru status in 2015 Cairanne is now unquestionably the source of some of the best wines in the Southern Rhône’’.
There must by some amazing things going on in this AOC so why not find your next Rhône love from Cairanne
THE WINES OF CAIRANNE
Cairanne reds layered on the nose with scents of ripe red fruit and spices. They are rounded balance on the palate with smooth tannins and an elegant and complexity on the finish. They are ready to be enjoyed young, but they also have serious ageing potential.
Whites are typically floral in character with ripe fruit and mineral flavours showing through.
Their character is based on the combination of the appellation’s three main varietals, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne. Grenache gives power and structure, while Clairette and Roussanne add elegant flavours and an edge of freshness.
Jancis also spoke about producers in the region to look out for which I have some information about...
Laurent Brusset - Domaine Brusset
Since 1947, the Brusset family have been combining traditional winemaking skills with cutting-edge techniques introduced over the last three generations. First there was André, then Daniel, and now Laurent is at the helm, honouring the traditions of the past.
He aims to express each terroir to its best advantage. Domaine Brusset wines are made to be supple, elegant and complex.
Denis & Jean Etienne Alary - Domaine Alary
Our estate dates back to 1692, when André Alary became the first of many generations of his family to settle in Cairanne, tending the land and nurturing the vineyards. Today, these vineyards stretch all the way from the hillsides to the plain. Cairanne’s climate, along with its superb terroirs are exceptionally well-suited to winegrowing, and yield a range of excellent red and white wines.
Our 30 hectares of vines have been managed by Denis Alary and his son Jean-Etienne since 2016. In a bid to protect the environment and improve quality, the estate was certified organic in 2009. Driven by Jean-Etienne, we are now all moving towards biodynamics. Jean-Etienne studied oenology and has trained with some of the world’s best winemakers (Confuron-Cotedidot in Burgundy, Henschke in Australia etc...) His experience, enthusiasm and new ideas ensure that our Domaine wines move ever closer to perfection.
We lie somewhere between the modern and the traditional – which could well be our family motto – producing fresh, well-balanced wines; winemakers’ wines - warm, honest and unpretentious. Wines just lie us.
Thomas, Marcel & Claire Richaud - Domaine Richaud
Marcel and Marie Richaud established Domaine Richaud in Cairanne in the early 1980s. Marcel took over the existing family vineyards and worked alongside his father Gaston for several years.
As time went by, Marcel and Marie began to move away from conventional agriculture, gradually edging towards organic farming. The estate was certified organic by Ecocert in 2008. In the 1990s, after seeking advice from colleagues in Beaujolais and meeting with natural wine expert Yann Rohel, Marcel turned his attention to natural wines. These have no artificial inputs – just a touch of sulphur if vintage conditions require.
In 2014, two of his children, Claire and Thomas, took over the estate. Together, they began to replant the vines on the appellation slopes, aiming to produce high-quality Cairanne wines in both red and white. The vineyards currently measure some 80 hectares, divided between Cairanne and Rasteau and covering all the main appellation terroirs. The vineyards are farmed organically to help revitalise soils and ensure maximum strength and concentration for the grapes. Wines are vinified with no external inputs (no sulphur, no filtering, no fining) and aged in casks and demi-muids, following Rhône Valley traditions.
So in 2020 look out for the fantastic wines of Cairanne AOC and I promise you won't be disappointed with the quality and the value is outstanding keep a look out for my instagram post and YouTube videos about the wines from this region.
I'm also hoping to visit the region later this year so i'll have some more exciting news and wines to try from Cairanne.
Brad - WineTimeLondon - #DrinkingWith
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