Still on our short diversion between Séguret and Sablet we wanted to share some great pictures taken by the Timmons, the enterprising family behind The Wine Teacher, during a recent fact finding visit to the Boutinot Rhône Cairanne estate….
This week, we are taking a short break from our tour of the Rhône to reflect on old vines. ‘Vielles vignes’ have long been celebrated for their ability to produce better wine – an assertion mainly to do with the associated low yields. Dotted among the rudely healthy old vines in our Cairanne ‘Les Six Terrasses’ vineyard were some vines in need of a little attention. Back in January we photographed the process of rejuvenating an old vine, from ivy covered to expertly pruned and ready for Spring….
Moving from Cairanne through Rasteau and Roaix along the curling arc of villages en route towards Gigondas, our next stop is Séguret on the other side of the valley. Nestling at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail, the lacey-edged rocky outcrop which dominates the skyline on this side of the valley, Séguret rightly earns its official classification as one of “the most beautiful villages in France” (along with cheese, a Normandy butter and ‘le poulet de Bresse’, even the pretty villages of France are classified too!).
In wine terms, Séguret is important because it is one of the named villages within the Côtes du Rhône Villages AOP, but for us it has special significance as the site of the ‘Les Turcs’ vineyard. High in the rugged mountainous terroir behind the village itself, the vines in this vineyard are genuinely old, a minimum of 50 years of age, some even older. The fruit from these vines impart a purity of flavour and a surprising tenderness to our Boutinot Rhône ‘Les Coteaux Schisteux’.
Our last stop in Cairanne before moving on to the other villages of southern Rhône is Font Crozes. An exposed and windswept vineyard, its original swooping slope, cascading down from the woodland at its brow, has now been fashioned into three broad terraces. Here in 2011 we planted Mourvèdre.