LVT 2012 r Solid quality, including vin de pays reds. Fruit and easy drinking emphasis. Status changed from a domaine into a merchant, so from 2011, the wines can be made from outside sources as well as from their own vineyards.
LVT 2018 r 2015 wh Good, soft Côtes du Rhône red, pretty good style in the Cairanne red, too, finesse on the agenda. The 2015 Cairanne red was a wholesome **** wine. It is a domaine whose Château dates from 1902; it belonged to Johannes Pierrefeu, his father Gérard a very big influence on the Rhône Valley wines, regulations and management. It was sold in the mid-2000s. Pascal Franczak took over the running of the domaine in 2009. His father-in-law Patrick Julien was a Co-operateur at the Cave de Cairanne, his enterprise Julien S.A. just outside Cairanne a producer of wooden stakes for vineyards, trees and other uses. When M.Julien retired, Pascal was given the choice of continuing at the Cave or going solo and making his own wine. There are 44 hectares, led by 12 at Cairanne (8 hectares in good shape, 4 needing much attention) and 6.2 ha of Plan de Dieu, with 21.8 of Côtes du Rhône.
Much work is being done to revive a tired vineyard. All the reds are concrete vat raised, and they hold cool qualities even in a hot vintage such as 2015. Notes of concentration in the ***(*) Cairanne 2018 red reflected the soils West of the village.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2017 rosé A domaine started in January, 2009. Ingrid's grandfather owned vineyards at Sarrians; she used to work in the export division of the Cave de Vacqueyras, and has her own export business aimed at Northern European countries such as Germany, NL and Denmark. Jean-Philippe comes from a fruit growing family at Bonnieux in the Low Alps, and used to sell winemaking materials.
Their vineyards had not been treated with chemical products, but nor had they been closely looked after – the soils had not been worked, and the vines needed wire training. The domaine is now organic, including the bag in the box wine. There is considerable retention of the stems in the vinification of the reds. This works well, especially when the vineyards on the high Col du Débat between Cairanne and St Roman de Mallegarde are involved, cooling the wines in hot vintages such as 2017. Raising has included egg containers, which Jean-Philippe feels gives the wine more energy than the 600-litre oak casks/demi-muids. Only low SO2 is applied – 1-2 gm at bottling. The reds are full of character, and authenticity, with a leaning towards clarity and, sometimes, rigour. A Roaix Villages white was introduced in 2016, as was a Vacqueyras red. The IGP range is now all Vin de France; the Pompette red is one-third mid-1980s Tempranillo.
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh Known as Domaine Denis & Daniel Alary until 2006. Top flight Cairannes, both red and white, from an old village family, where son Jean-Etienne has joined his dad Denis. Vinification has recently become more hands-off, and the results are good, with an increase in finesse. The red Cairannes such as La Jean de Verde age and live extremely well; the Jean de Verde was ****(*) in 2015 and ***** in 2016 - exciting. The other three Cairanne reds were all ****(*) wines in 2016, underlining just how exceptional that vintage was; the **** Cairanne L'Estevenas red 2018 was a very genuine STGT wine. There is an unusual, accomplished 100% Counoise planted in 1993 wine called L'Exclus as well. The domaine is mostly organic.
LVT 2014 r 2015 wh A lot of vineyards, including Rasteau, and the feeling that, while the wines are sound, they could carry more character.
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh 2015 rosé Long-established Cairanne family, now run by younger brother André after the retirement of Michel; they are brothers of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape family. André remains in charge of the vinification, his speciality, and from 2017 his daughter Alexandra has been working with him. Greater attention is paid tothe vinification than before, and quality is on the rise, witness the ***** 2017 Cairanne Vieilles Vignes red, a most engaging STGT wine.
LVT 2016 r 2017 wh 2014 rosé Big, gutsy, traditional wines, proper Cairanne. Great Tradition red 2010 - VALUE and STGT, ****(*), and 2015 - also a ****(*) wine pre-bottling. also good, true Massif d'Uchaux red. There are two easy drinking Cairanne whites now. A very good address.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2019 rosé A British importer set up in 1980 - they cover the Cave de Tain in the Northern Rhône, for instance. Paul Boutinot has long believed in Cairanne, even though most of his efforts centre on South Africa. Boutinot own 8.8 hectares, with 5 ha in production at Cairanne. The crop from another 10 hectares is bought in for the total of 25,000 bottles across the two Cairanne wines, La Côte Sauvage and Les Six. The Cairanne Les Six red, half Grenache, with 10% each of Carignan, Cinsault, Counoise, Mourvèdre and Syrah lending variety and restraint, is a sound wine which shows oak at first: it is vinified and raised in 60 hl tronconic oak vats. Boutinot sell various Cairannes to Sweden, Norway, GB. There is also a Gigondas Domaine La Haute Marone red, which was a praiseworthy **** wine in 2017, taking a Burgundian routing more than a Provençal one in its style.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2014 rosé One of the two main wine families at Cairanne, a domaine I have known since the 1970s. The wines have been cellar-led, forceful in style, with plenty of punch, but in the late 2010s I note a shift towards lighter touch winemaking, resulting in a **** 2018 Cairanne Les Travers [admittedly the easy drinking cuvée] of great energy, a rare bird in being both STGT and w.o.w. The occasional Cairanne Hommage à André Brusset red, based on 1930s Grenache, was ****(*) in 2015.
There is good Gigondas from the high zones, the occasionally produced Les Secrets de Montmirail a stylish coated ****(*) wine in 2017, for example, and an STGT **** wine in 2018. There are now two Cairanne whites, a new Esprit de Papet being oak fermented and raised. The Rasteau La Bastide, small production of 4,000 bottles, is good quality - often between **** (2015) and ****(*) (2017, also STGT)
LVT 2007 r Full wines that are no longer whole bunch fermented. Organic since 1999. Just one cuvée made since 2007, with no name attached.
LVT 2017 r 2014 wh 2014 rosé A young couple, both born and brought up in Cairanne. Having been a Vice-President of the Cave de Cairanne between 2004 and 2009, Stéphane Charançon left it in 2011 to make his first wine. He is the fifth generation of his family to be a viticulteur. The domaine covers 30 hectares, all at Cairanne, with a mixture of mountain and plain vineyards that are also both in the east and west of the appellation. Consciously low dosage of SO2 is used, and Stéphane works with wild yeasts. The style is for full wines; 2012 was better than 2011 and 2013, and 2014 is promising. The white will be Cairanne from 2015. The special, expensive Les Galets Jade Cairanne is 60% Mourvèdre, 40% Grenache , and is made in the best vintages.
LVT 2017 r Alain is the son of Regis Boisson of Domaine Boisson. Created in 2002, total 20 ha between Cairanne, Lagarde Paréol and Travaillan. The first wine was made in 2002, the first bottling was the 2004. Robust, very genuine wines, with a true hand made quality about them. From 2011 most of the crop has been bottled, with the equivalent of 5-6,000 bottles sold to high class, small scale merchants Tardieu-Laurent. Alain has had health issues, and finds a high level of export suitable, without tying up his time too much on domestic sales.
LVT 2016 r 2014 wh Powerful wines, sense of cellar work in them. Also Rasteau, Châteauneuf. Vincent Moreau sold his ownership in 2018, having also been the owner of the large Côtes du Rhône Château de Ruth as well.
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh Leading name, STGT leanings, highly skilled commitment to quality in vineyard and cellar, with the ability to adapt to whatever a vintage throws at them. Elegance is favoured over power, and is well achieved, an example being the ****(*) Réserve des Seigneurs red, very stylish, elegant and deft. This top class domaine is both organic and biodynamic. On a lesser scale, the Côtes du Rhône Les P’tits gars red is an interesting wine, 10% made up of Counoise, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Muscardin, Terret Noir: the 2015 was **** wine
LVT 2015 r 2014 wh Christèle Plantevin is the 5th generation, and the first vinification in their cellars took place in 1902. She took over in 1997. I detect improvement with the 2014 vintage. There is a Rasteau red, too: ***(*) in 2015 (pre-bottling). The 2015 Cairanne Mes Garrigues red was a ****, STGT wine pre-bottling
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2015 rosé A sad story here, with the premature death of René Aubert in August 2008, after a cancer battle. The wines are very consistent, and unpretentious, with whites successful, too; the reds are perhaps a little less extracted than in the past. Of note is the 2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Nonciature red, an 8,000 bottle wine that, at ****(*), was way ahead of the classic red [46,000 b] in that vintage, a tasty, uncomplicated wine that supplied energy to the drinker. The 2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape classic white, based on 50% Grenache blanc, 20% Clairette rose, was an en finesse **** wine in 2018.
LVT 2018 r An organic domaine run by two Belgian gentlemen. They started on their vineyards in January 2008, so that was their first vintage. Jean-François Lénelle, one of the founders, became ill and returned to Belgium. There is also Vacqueyras, one oaked, one vat only. Quality on the Gigondas - just 5,000 bottles - improved in 2014; the style is very much for easy drinking rather than serious structure. It has been frustrating to encounter a wine such as the 2017 Vacqueyras red which was oxidative already in the spring of 2020, and judgment is reserved here.
LVT 2011 r 2013 wh These are wines of earthy power. The red Cairannes drink with some bottle age, at least three years. Improved, fine Cairanne blanc as well.
LVT 2018 r 2019 rosé 2017 wh Yves Jean and his wife Corinne Houser bought the domaine in 2007, and from 2008 he was working the vineyard organically. It is now biodynamic as well as organic. He has been an agricultural engineer, a director for Carrefour across the whole of France. "I had a conversion." These are hand made wines that have character and precision, a notable addition to the already strong ranks at Cairanne. In 2015, both the Cairanne Vieilles Vignes (STGT wine) and Hauts de Beauregard were **** wines, pre-bottling, while the 2016 Vieilles Vignes was a vibrant **** wine, and the 2016 Hauts de Beauregard was a wine of good clarity and lift, strength, a ****(*) wine. The 2018 Garrigues was near the top of the Cairanne class, a ****(*), complex and stimulating STGT wine.
LVT 2015 r 2014 wh 2014 rosé Denis Monnier bought the Hervé Rabasse vineyards and the Domaine Roche. He ran a vineyard working and maintenance service which employed 50 people, and still has a few clients from that side of his life. He also owned a vineyard near Aix-en-Provence, producing rosé.
His first wine at Cairanne was the 2009. Organic practices. There are two working horses, Silver and Siobi, for the vineyards – Denis has worked with horses for 35 years. He also takes visitors around the vineyards in a carriage. Twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) on summer evenings the domaine offers dishes served on the terrace with the wines of the domaine. The wines are honest, quite full, and the rosé is enjoyable.
LVT 2018 r A 20 hectare family domaine that used to sell most of its crop to the Cave de Cairanne, but now much is under the care of the Brotte merchant business at Châteauneuf-du-Pape for raising and bottling - Alain Grosset is Laurent Brlotte's father-in-law. It is traditional style wine, suited to stews, for example. The 2018 was a genuine local **** wine.
LVT 2014 rosé 2012 r A name to note. Patrice is from a third generation Cairanne family, who started as an audio-visual producer, and would give a hand on the vineyard. He left Paris and returned to the domaine in 2002 and built the cellar in 2004. His father and grandfather were Co-operateurs at the Cave de Cairanne. He produces 10,000 bottles for himself, and sells 90,000 bottles to the merchant trade, a lot of it for Belgium (Delaize). The Cairanne Vieilles Vignes is good, interesting wine, value for money as well. The very old vine Côtes du Rhône Trémère, half Carignan, half Grenache from centenary vines, is also striking. Only concrete vat raising, exactly as it should be. His wife Agnès Saurel is the winemaker at the 60 hectare family Domaine Combe Dieu at Rasteau, all sold in bulk.
LVT 2010 r The Jubain family have been bottling their own wine since the mid-2000s, and now have this name sold through the Languedoc Domaine Magellan. Robust, genuine.
LVT 2018 r 2015 wh 2015 rosé Go-ahead organic domaine from Saint-Cécile; their profile has been raised thanks to their 10-hectares at Cairanne, the wine of which is sturdy and well-fruited. I would highlight the ***** 2016 Cairanne Eloïse red - 50% G, 35% M, 15% Syr - well balanced, fabulous length, while the 2018 Cairanne Mireille red was a **** wine with lots of very handsome fruit. The Cairanne white Malorie, half Viognier, half Roussanne, got off to a very good start for young vineyards with a **** 2014. There is also a sound Rasteau. The Besnardeaus' instincts are in the direction of making natural, local wine, which is cleaner than that of yesteryear. Since 2014 the Côtes du Rhônes have been raised in steel vats (concrete vats formerly). Marc was a chef in Montmartre, Paris, for 13 years before coming to Saint-Cécile-les-Vignes.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2015 rosé This has been a really traditional domaine, some extraordinary wines, under the tutelage of a dedicated couple, Jean-Marie and Anne-Marie Astart. They made fab 2012s, very good 2014s, great collection of 2016s across the three Cairanne reds. The Cairanne red Col du Debat can really sparkle from its cool soils as in 2015 - when it was *****, STGT wine when tasted pre-bottling.
The Astarts had no successor, and age and ill health were catching up with them, so the estate was sold in 2019 to the Pierre Amadieu family of Gigondas. They are setting about tidying things up in the cellar and the well cared for but tired vineyard of 17 hectares, 12.5 ha of which is Cairanne. Due to the mildew, only 100 hl of Cairanne were produced in 2018. 90% of the sale was conducted on 1 July, 2019, in time for the Amadieu team to get moving on the vineyard, so there was 370 hl of Cairanne red and 28 hl of Cairanne white [a good **** wine] in 2019.
The wines will henceforth be more spotless, more polished, less good old school. I back the Col du Debat to become a leading wine - it's a great vineyard at height [250 metres], North facing, influenced by weather from the lower Drôme, with galet stone and limestone influences; an early look at the 2019 gave a distinguished ****(*) wine.
LVT 2017 red 2014 rosé 2014 wh Keen young man. Formally organic from 2014. 36 hectares spread across Cairanne, Visan, Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes and Travaillan. Sound Visan from 10.5 hectares - Grenache with Syrah and Carignan in support, and a touch of Mourvèdre. The Cairanne La Daurelle red has improved - the 2014 was ***(*) STGT wine, the 2015 **** wine, pre-bottling.
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh 2014 rosé Mainstay domaine at Cairanne run by the tenacious Corinne Couturier and her daughter Laure, from the Charavin family. Long raising for these robust wines. The Cairanne red 2016 was a **** STGT wine, while the two Cairanne whites have been very good in vintages such as 2015 and 2018. Rasteau is good, can be STGT wine. They have a very large collection of vineyards, which sometimes weighs heavily on the overall quality. The 2015 Cuvée Abel Charavin, not made every year, was a ****(*) wine pre-bottling, the 2016 a dashing, delicious, memorable ***** wine. There's a VALUE NV Vin de France red called Ribouldingue as well.
LVT 2018 r Romain Roche took over 15 hectares of his father Marcel's 45 hectare vineyards in 2009, making his first vintage then; he now looks after 20 hectares of Cairanne, notably 12 ha on the stony Les Garrigues, 6 ha on the dense grey soils of Les Combes, neighbours there including L Brusset and M Richaud. Marcel was formerly President of the Cave, while Romain's grandfather Victor was also a Co-operateur. Romain did studies at Bordeaux and in the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence before returning to Cairanne in 2008. He spent a year largely in the vineyards studying how they worked. His first five vintages were vinified chez Corinne Couturier at Domaine Rabasse Charavin.
From 2015 he has been vinifying in his own new cellar. In 2009 and 2010 there were 30-40,000 bottles, the rest sold in bulk. 2014 onwards: 80-85% bottled, the rest sold in bulk. Cairanne forms 70-75% of his total. At first the wines showed extraction, but that has eased recently. The regular Cairnne red, 40,000 bottles, achieved w.o.w. status in 2018, a wine of finesse and freedom. The reds have genuine depth, and the special, not every year La Bousquette, 85% 1900s Grenache, was a genuine, impressive ***** STGT wine in 2017, and a thorough **** wine in 2018. A recent cuvée called Marcel Roche [Romain's dad], was a graceful ****(*) wine in 2018; it is taken from 1940s and older Grenache.
LVT 2014 r Robust, sturdy goods. These are genuine wines with local stamp. There are 17 hectares at Cairanne, and another 17 hectares at Visan, from where the Côtes du Rhône comes.
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh 2015 rosé The first vintage was 2014. Loïc had a change of career, having been an industrial engineer until 2011. In 2012 he did studies at Tain l’Hermitage, and also worked in the Ardèche. He sought land in 2013, the first target Ventoux, then settled on Cairanne where he bought 8 hectares planted, which he augmented in 2016 with the plantation of another one hectare from two Co-operateurs at the Cave de Cairanne. He works organically. His cellar was built in 2014. There was immediate promise on the white and the rosé, while the Apanage Cairanne 2014, a ***(*), had a genuine hand made feel to it, good density for the vintage, its 2016 version juicy and entertaining, a ****(*) wine
LVT 2015 r Traditional style wines
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh 2014 rosé Used to be a trendsetter, yes, in the 1970s. Some years in the wilderness. Respectable wines now, notably La Réserve Cairanne red, and La Réserve Cairanne white - the 2018 a refined **** wine - while the Voconces red is also agreeable. The whites are clear.There has been a recent push towards lower use of SO2, some wines only receiving it at bottling, with a new Cairanne red called Sans Soufre, which is zero SO2 - 40,000 bottles of that from quite young vines, the 2017 a **** wine of character and good strength.
However, the Big Picture has been dodgy. The Cave was for two years in redressement judiciare – more or less judicial correction - which meant that an outside accountant was in charge of all expenditure and outgoings. As a result of members not having been paid for some of their past crop, there have been many departures and the situation is fluid. It now operates as a Cave Co-operative, with the merchant Les Grandes Serres taking more space and facilities, which has helped cash flow. There has also been a change in harvesting policy, with greater ripeness sought from the 2015 vintage onwards. The amount of wine being produced has diminished a lot.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh Talented man, ce Marcel! L'Ebrescade is one of the great Cairannes, its raising doubled to 24 months since the cellar was enlarged. There is always good fruit and excellent life from these low intervention wines, some of which can be very punchy in the vintages of high heat, bordering on too much. The Cairanne L'Ebrescade would usually be my favourite wine here, the 2014 (lower degree than usual) a **** STGT wine. In 2016, I particularly liked the classic Cairanne red, a ****(*) wine that engaged very well, while the Ebrescade was a delight, a balanced, complete, STGT ***** wine. Son Thomas works the vineyards, while daughter Claire, who studied at Beaune for 18 months and in the Beaujolais, came full time to the domaine in August 2014. She does the admin and commerce. Organic practices here.