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….
The bee emblem on the door to our Cairanne cellar – we like to think it signifies the respect for nature, relentless drive for quality and team workmanship which goes on at Boutinot Rhône. Our adjacent vineyard is called ‘La Ruche‘ (which translates as ‘the hive’).
Inside the cellar the Timmons family saw the huge demi-muids (600 litre barrels) in which wine is matured. As explained by winemaker Eric Monnin during the Boutinot Rhône Masterclass which inspired David Timmons visit, the decision to use demi-muids was taken because Eric liked the ‘marriage’ between the oak and the wine but didn’t want the oak component to be too obvious.
Smaller 228 litre barrels are also used in some proportion for each red wine in the Boutinot Rhône range in a complex matrix of oak ageing (the subject of future blogs).
We then took the family out to the vineyards, starting with La Ruche, a plot of 33 year old Syrah vines surrounding the Domaine itself before leaving the village of Cairanne to travel uphill.
Near the top of La Montée de Ventabren the group stopped at ‘Les Six Terrasses‘, our south west facing Grenache Noir plot planted in 1968. Old vine Grenache from this vineyard and from ‘La Pauline’ just a little higher up the hill, adds minerality and richness to our Boutinot ‘La Côte Sauvage’, Cairanne, Côtes du Rhône Villages.
Then it was back in the car for a short drive down the hill to Font Crozes, a plot of Mourvèdre planted in 2011. On the way we explained a little of Mourvèdre traits. Sun loving but preferring to have ‘wet feet’, the combination of east west aspect (giving maximum sun hours) with limestone pebbles (which retain heat) and water retentive clay (giving continuous nourishment to the roots) combine to make Font Crozes the ideal environment for Mourvèdre. High up, at just under 280m altitude, winds can whip through Font Crozes but Mourvèdre is one variety which capable of withstanding this.
Broad terraces were carved out of the mountain slope to make tending the vines at Font Crozes easier. Note the ‘garrigue’ surrounding the vineyard. It’s interesting to compare how the vines have grown since they were first planted, as shown in the picture below taken in 2011.
Thank you to David Timmons of The Wine Teacher for sharing his pictures.