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In 2016, Cairanne was promoted to Côtes du Rhône cru after winemakers submitted their application back in 2008. Any wine coming from this appellation can now have wines labelled with only ‘Cairanne’ without the need for ‘Côtes du Rhône’ to be included. This is a testament to the quality of the wines being made here.
The majority of the wine is red, made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. The much smaller quantity of white wine are made from Grenache Blanc Clairette, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier.
Now would be a great time to invest in some wines from this region, as the quality is superb with some extraordinary examples that could sit nicely in the cellar for years to come. One fine example would be the following from Domaine Richaud.
In 1974, Marcel Richaud at the spry age of 17 took on the family’s domaine, and started to make and sell his own wines, thereby stepping away from the cooperative.
With a very close eye and strict standards when harvesting grapes, yields reach an average of 35 hl/l. The domaine is certified organic and uses some biodynamic practices. The wines of Domaine Richaud can be credited with putting Cairanne on the map, reviving an appellation that more people should certainly be aware of.
The nose is incredibly perfumed with beautiful notes of lush black cherries, blackberries and kirsch mixed with layers of violet, sweet spices and earth. The palate is quite soft yet robust and bursting with intense black and red fruit, spice and earth, which is well balanced by the bright and refreshing acidity. Super raspy tannins, a little in your face but not in a bad way – this will allow the wine to age gracefully for years to come. Lots of texture, excellent maturity of fruit, and a long and elegant finish. It’s gorgeous now, but give a few years tucked away in your cellar to reap the rewards.
On n'a pas fini d'entendre parler du petit Marcel. Yeux bleus comme le ciel du midi, cheveux gris comme les rochers de Montmirail, ce quadragénaire se consacre corps et âme à son terroir. Depuis vingt ans qu'il a créé son domaine, Marcel Richaud n'a de cesse de l'étoffer et s'installe sur les coteaux arides, là où la terre disparaît sous les galets.