What We Say 2007 La Reserve Cairanne Cotes du Rhone Villages
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Mission Codename: Grenache Greatness
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Visit the history vineyards of Cave De Cairanne and acquire some of there historic wines exclusively for our operatives.
Mission Status: Ongoing…
Current Winery: Cave de Cairanne
Wine Subject: 2007 La Reserve Cairanne Cotes du Rhone Villages
The Cotes du Rhone Villagesappellation covers the a large swath of the southern Rhone region. If all the grapes for a wine comes from a specific commune, the wine may be labeled with that commune’s name. The best known of these villages is Gigondas which became its own AOC in 1971.
These wines are where the fresh, warm and soft Grenache is blended best and countless permutations with distinct Terroir components really shine. These wines must be at least 50% Grenache with at least 20% of Syrah and/or Mourvedre and a total of no more than 20% of the other local varietals such as Carignan, Cinsault, Camerese, Picpoul Noir, Terret Noir, etc.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Vibrant deep garnet in color with bright ruby edges and reflexes through its clear core. When swirled, randomly spaced fast thin legs streak down the side of the glass followed by slower fat legs that hang before descending.
Smell – Warm and fresh aromas of spiced and early black cherry and other dark fruit are layered over a distinctly mineral and pepper base. Hints of perfumed violets; earthy and herbal bramble; licorice and toasted oak round out the nose.
Feel – Dry and tangy, this medium-to-full bodied wine has youthful tannins, spice and acidity along with a crisp Terroir minerality that lingers into the finish. Give this wine some time to let these textures fully develop and integrate.
Taste – Ripe and spiced black cherry, currants and other dark fruit with a touch of tangy tartness that blends with a flinty-limestone minerality. Black pepper and exotic spice are layered with licorice and herbal notes.
Finish – Warm, clean and of medium length with lingering fruit and minerality.
Conclusion – The 2007 Cave de Cairanne La Reserve Cairanne Cotes du Rhone Villages really shows off its Grenache and its minerality. Give this wine some time to open up (or some time in the cellar) as it is still quite youthful. We paired this wine with grilled Mexican style chicken and guacamole.
The Wine Spies are always excited when our assets bring us exclusive wines (today’s selection is only available at retail through The Wine Spies) of character and distinction, especially when they are from regions and Terroirs that have real history.
The Cotes du Rhone Villages that suround the town of Orange are often overlooked by its included neighbors of Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. These wines have a ton of character and the potential for real quality and depth. These wines, known for their Grenache-based blends are approachable and fun but also show classic Terroir driven aromas and flavors that we love so much.
Be on the lookout for a few other wines from Cave de Cairanne as we were impressed with their whole line up.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Cotes du Rhone Villages, in and around the city of Orange can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Cave De Cairanne
Camille Cayran unveils his universe and makes you discover the style of Cairanne, the most well-known Cotes du Rhone village. These wines are always fruity (cherry), spicy (pepper) and very smooth.
About This Wine:
Deep ruby colour with violet tints. The nose is intense and concentrated with fruits (black cherries, prunes and blackcurrant) and spices (pepper and cinnamon). The mouth is concentrated and ample with beautiful aromas of fruits and spices.
Region of production: The vineyard is located in the village of Cairanne. (in the “département” of Vaucluse, on the left bank of the Rhône river).
Origin: Planted on clay and limestone hillsides covered with small pebbles. The slopes are gentle, well exposed to the sun and selected from the best of our Cairanne plots where the climate is appropriate to achieve optimum ripeness, therefore producing elegant wines and reducing phytosanitary treatments.
Vinification: Exclusively harvested by hand. We use traditional vinification on 80% of the destemmed grapes. Blending occurs after 9 days vatting at a temperature of 30°C. This long maceration period enables to extract a dense but smooth tannin. 20% of carbonic maceration allows a maximum extraction of fruit.
Accompaniment: Grilled ribs, chicken with herbs, rabbit cooked in tinfoil (papillotte) with rosemary or mediterranean stuffed vegetables. Beef with ginger, cajun ribs or chicken fajitas.
About The Winery:
The roots of a cellar, a winegrowing history:
1929, 3 pioneers founded the Cave de Cairanne, mandated by 120 other winegrowers to produce and promote high quality wine, indeed meriting an appellation of origin. The building was not yet completed when the cellars of a capacity of 20,000 hl received their first harvest.
1937, the frosts of 1936, which decimated olive trees in the region, accelerated the development of vine culture. Cairanne wines were recognized Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée Côtes du Rhône. 1959, the vineyard was expanded over scrubland, and mechanization ensured the development of the Cave, that opened its first Côtes du Rhône wine tasting cellar.
1967-87, growth continued. The 81,000 ha capacity vathouse and the quality of production were rewarded with the formalization of the Côtes du Rhônes villages appellation, accepted since 1953. The cave expanded: sales, bottling, buried vats, new equipment, cuvées de prestige , creation of the quality club.
1998, a new vathouse designed with even greater respect for the Terroir and grapes was added, for vinification with punching of the cap and délestage (rack and return).
Three Legendary Terroirs: A rocky peak dominating the Orange plain, watered by the Aygues, sun-drenched slopes, scrubland: Cairanne was an ideal site for viticulture.
Cairanne’s climate , is particularly suited to winegrowing: hot and dry, cleansed by the mistral, lesser quantities of chemical treatments are needed for the vines. Our goal between now and the year 2008 is to use integrated farming methods over 70% of the vineyard and 100% by the year 2013.
Vinification methods are modern without ever yielding to trends. Many of the cuvées are unfiltered. A large part of the harvest is not destemmed. Our entire Côtes du Rhône villages harvest is picked by hand. The effluents from the cave are retreated in our own treatment plant.
THE AYGUES RIVER TERRACES: Of recent formation (at geological scale), 12,000 years, they are formed from the alluvia of the river Aygues. On the surface, stones mixed with recently deposited silt ensure a sufficient water reserve until spring. The deeper layers, composed of limestone crusting and gravel, do not retain water. The winegrower’s work consists in reducing the early vegetative development to favour ripening of the fruit.
The result is fine, elegant wine, marked by red fruit.
THE GUARRIGUES (SCRUBLAND): To the south and south-east of the village, a more ancient formation (Quaternary period – 200,000 years), this Terroir is composed of ancient alluvia from the rivers Aygues and Ouvèze.
Rocks and reddish clays near the surface, stones, with deeper layers of sandy-limestone and gravel, resulting in less fertile soils, with little although regular water reserves at depth, enabling the vine to develop a good root structure. This Terroir favours the production of generous, full-bodied wine, with spice and leather aromas.
THE MOUNTAIN: The soils here are the most ancient (10 to 15 million years old), the result of successive upheavals: marine sedimentation (shells), continental sedimentation (sandy marl, lacustral clay deposits) to which are added pebbles carried along by the mountain rivers. This is a multi-faceted and truly magnificent landscape. The wines from the mountain give the assemblage, or blend, a well-constituted strength, developing Cairanne tertiary aromas.
Grape variety: 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% old Carignan, 5% Mourvèdre
Yield: 40 hl/ha
Production area: 180 ha
Serving temperature: 17° – 18° C
Aging: 2-8 years