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Domaine Roche Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rhone, France
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

The Cairanne is a blend of Grenache and Syrah. While more structured and deeply fruited than the Côtes-du-Rhône, the Cairanne is still lithe and winsome showing the classic acidity and minerality of the appellation with more bass notes and a darker fruitiness. This cuvée always shows the beautiful balance between the generosity of the Grenache and the structure of the Syrah.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A sexy wine made under the auspices of globe-trotting oenologist Philippe Cambie, this 2012 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne was produced from 40 to 105-year-old vines. The blend was 70% Grenache (aged in concrete) and 30% Syrah (aged in barrique) from yields of 20 to 30 hectoliters per hectare. It exhibits a delicious, up-front, front end-loaded, richly fruity style with lots of raspberry, black cherry, roasted herb, loamy soil and underbrush notes. This corpulent, fleshy red can be enjoyed over the next 4-5 years.
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Domaine Roche

Domaine Roche

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Domaine Roche, Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rhone, France
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There is always something thrilling about Cairanne. The ancient hill-top village and beautiful hillsides do nothing to dispel this feeling, and even tasting in Romain Roche’s exceeding cold and damp cellar cannot detract from the experience. Among all the villages entitled to append their name after Côtes-du-Rhône Village, Cairanne stands out. With the local AOP having finalized the boundaries and having updated its rules it appears that 2014 will mark the inaugural vintage of Cairanne as a cru.

Cotes du Rhone Villages

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An appellation full of some of the most delightful and particularly charming reds, Côtes du Rhône Villages includes the best villages of the greater Côtes du Rhône appellation. The possibility for an appellation promotion exists for each named village but each has to achieve and prove superior quality before an upgrade will be granted. The main ones today are Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Beaumes-de-Venise, Vinsobres, Rasteau and Cairanne.

The Gigondas appellation, while sometimes producing wines with a touch of rusticity, can often rival Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Its elevations are higher and soils richer in limestone. Vacqueyras reds are more concentrated than the generic Cotes du Rhone reds and must be at least 50% Grenache by law. Beaumes de Venise also includes some excellent higher elevation spots for making snappy, fruity and spicy reds but historically the appellation’s esteem came from its fragrant, sweet and golden Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

ESLEC4811_2012 Item# 152733