What’s in the glass tonight July 22nd – Cairanne CdR Villages

Dom. Les Grands Bois CdR 2014

Off Topic: Domaine Les Grands Bois Cuvée Maximilien Cairanne Côtes du Rhône Villages 2014 – $$$

Carrying on the Rhone theme, here is the real deal, a Cairanne CdR Villages blend 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre, 15% Syrah grapes.

The Cairanne appellation in the Côtes du Rhône was promoted to Côtes du Rhône cru status earlier this year, joining well-known names such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Crozes-Hermitage. The winemakers of Cairanne first submitted their application for cru status to the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) in 2008. Cairanne achieved Côtes du Rhône status in 1953 and became a Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation in 1967. Cairanne is the 17th appellation to get cru status; before that Rasteau was the most recent, which was promoted in 2010.

I am super-excited to drink this wine…Back in October 2014, L and I attending a Rhone tasting hosted by GK. We tried a bunch of wines from the region, and it was my first exposure to them. It started off my love for the wines of the Rhone valley.

Here are some notes from that tasting…”We also absolutely loved the inexpensive Dom. Les Grands Bois Côtes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne Cuvee Maximilien 2011. It was up there with the Guigal Gigondas, and would have lasted 30 years but alas, RW’s allocation was sold out, and we couldn’t get any…”

A-ha! Here is the 2014 edition…

Dark carmine. 15% – big!

Aromatic nose of herbs, sweet black fruit, a bit earthy and funky.

Very textural in the mouth, medium-to-full weight, with ripe sweet fruit – blackberries, prunes – and licorice. Crunchy forward tannins and bitter edge give this wine a rustic quality, but the fruit intensity lifts it up a level. The blend of grapes gives this wine a complexity you don’t see from straight syrahs, and the youth and tannic heft give this wine a distinctive sharp nip on the tip of my tongue. Best keep half a bottle for tomorrow. A day’s softening will give a good pointer to this wines age-ability.

The next day the wine softened and lost a lot of its sharp edges. The palate was still substantial with complex sub-notes, and held an attractive drying finish.

91 points

What’s in the glass tonight June 20th – Grenache


Cloud 9

I was L’s “plus 1” at a Chiropractic conference on Denarau Island in Fiji last weekend. A highlight of our last day was boating out to Cloud 9, a floating dive platform anchored at Roro Reef off the northwestern flank of Malolo Island in the Mamanucas. We spent the day there snorkelling, bombing off the top deck, eating pizzas and drinking lots of Fiji Bitter in the sun. Paradise.

One of the participants I met at the conference was a very engaging and knowledgeable Chiro and winemaker, Arron Scott. He studied winemaking as an adult, part-time. He started off buying grapes to make his wine, but eventually bought his own property. He generously presented a bottle of his Grenache for us to try at a group dinner on our last night. This was a bottle he had brought all the way from home.

Jinu Grenache 2014

Jinu Wines “Mummas Little Helper” Old Vine Grenache Adelaide Hills 2014

Made from grapes off 60 year old vines. 15%. Purple-ish ruby.

A light easy-drinking wine, delying the alcohols. Indeed, it didn’t taste hot at all. Lots of smooth full fruit flavours of raspberries and strawberries, light on the tannins, juicy and feminine. I have no means of comparison as this is my first ever pure Grenache to taste, so no rating.

I liked it more, the more I tried it tho. Thanks Arron!