Yet another wine festival – this time at Cairanne (84 Vaucluse, Provence PACA) one of the southern Cotes du Rhone Villages on Sunday 23 July 2017 – northwest of Orange.
posterWine Festivals are abundant between mid July and early September for several reasons – firstly there tend to be lots of tourists around to imbibe and hopefully buy some wine; secondly it is an opportunity to get rid of the previous year’s wine before the new vintage arrives in a month or so; and it is not a busy time for the vigneron – no pruning to do, the cellar should be quiet with last year’s wines settled, and the vats clean and empty for the new vintage – maybe a bit of spraying to do, or leaf cutting to let the sun ripen the berries. It is indeed often the time when winemakers grab a week or so holiday before the hard work of harvesting and wine fermentation begin.

In Cairanne the wines are predominantly red in the Rhone style using Grenache (50% minimum), with Syrah or Mourvèdre making up at least a further 20%. Rosé and white wines are also produced. The reds are generally of good quality, Cairanne being above the valley floor on the higher land, so better drainage and more mineral character.

The Co-operative de Cairanne tends to dominate production, but does produce some very good wines.

Leon Stolarski Fine Wines has a good selection including one of my old favourites from Domaine Rabasse-Charavin: “Rich, baked fruit aromas, with hugely concentrated flavours of blackcurrants, damsons, fruitcake and spice, gentle tannins and a note of liquorice on the finish. World class. “17/20 points. Drink 2005-12. Mellow, lively, racier than many 2001s with even a hint of spritz but pretty strapping.” (Jancis Robinson, December 2005).

For more info on the Cairanne Wine Festival see

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