Boutinot Cairanne 'La Cote Sauvage'
Boutinot is a British negociant winemaker and importer, sourcing the best grapes from fine terroirs for their selections. We were lucky enough to taste their Cairanne when it was still a named Cotes du Rhone Villages in 2015, but we were thrilled to find out Cairanne would be elevated to cru status starting in 2016. That's because the village of Cairanne produced such consistently excellent wines that the French legal authorities decided they should be classified on the same level as nearby Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas!
Regardless of whether it's before or after the switch, this wine gives us chills every time. For less than half or a third of the price of a Chateauneuf, it showcases the same flavors, and moreover it requires less decanting so it's more immediately approachable. Boutinot Cairanne is a deeply flavored, full-bodied blend for those that love the powerful structure, astonishing fullness, and velvety mouthfeel of Southern Rhone wines.
It was crafted from old vines growing in argilo-calcaire soils and harvested when the berries achieved optimal ripeness, and then aged for 22 months in French oak. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Carignan, it demonstrates rich flavors of black raspberry, morello cherry, chocolate, and spices on the palate, which leads into a silky finish with hints of vanilla.