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You would be forgiven for not being able to place Cairanne on a map. Twenty miles north of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this village is among the underrated of the southern Rhône, and it didn’t receive AOC status until the 2016 vintage! And what a vintage to commemorate: 2016 is widely regarded as an incredible year in the Rhône Valley. Daniel Brunier of Vieux Télégraphe told us, “I would never use this word lightly, but 2016 is the absolute best vintage I’ve ever seen here since 1978.”
      Now, even though it was only validated recently by the authorities, that doesn’t mean Cairanne hadn’t been producing excellent wines for years before that. Kermit began to import the reds of Catherine Le Gœuil in 2005. Ever since, they have represented his ethos: “If you are looking for great values, look where no one else is looking.” Made from impeccable Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Counoise grapes—organically farmed and kept dry by the mistral—grown in sandy molasse, clay, and limestone, this Cairanne bears all of the southern Rhône notes we love: black cherries, garrigue, olives, and stones. It will pair magically with braised oxtails or grilled lamb chops.

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2016
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 51% Grenache, 17.5% Syrah, 17.5% Mourvèdre, 7% Carignan, 7% Counoise
Appellation: Cairanne
Country: France
Region: Southern Rhône
Producer: Catherine Le Goeuil
Winemaker: Catherine Le Gœuil
Vineyard: About 50 years old, 6 ha
Soil: Sandy Molasse, Limestone, Clay
Aging: Vinification lasts for 2-3 weeks in temperature-controlled cement tanks
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 14.5%

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Kermit inspecting wine barrels

For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.

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