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Let the Wine Decide….Harvest 2012 continues…

October 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm

October’s here, the harvest is still in full swing and we’re still standing! After a cold night the weather today is again warm and sunny and our team of pickers went high up the slopes of La Montée du Ventabren to harvest old vine Grenache. Back at La Ruche (Cairanne) our cellar is gradually filling up and grapes are slowly turning into wine in our open top tronconiques (wooden fermentation vessels). Today the fermentation in tronconique 10, filled with incredible 53 year old Grenache Noir, came to its natural end and the tank has been racked, filling the cellar with enticing cherry and spice aromas.

Let the Wine Decide: Go, Go, Go! Harvest 2012 begins….

September 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm

The Boutinot Rhône harvest 2012 begins….at last! So far the weather has been perfect (sunny clear days with a good mistral blowing) and now it’s full steam ahead in the vineyard and the cellar. Days are busy and long but satisfying….no time for a long post so here are some images from the past week. A full 2012 vintage report will follow soon.

Cairanne Makeover: Cellar refurbishment complete!

August 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm

At last, the refurbishment of our cellar is complete in time for the 2012 harvest. This refurbishment was neither simply a case of opening a few tins of paint nor was it a grand design the likes of which you see in Chile or California. The cellar we acquired when we bought our Cairanne estate in 2010 was perfectly serviceable but our aim was to create the best possible environment for vinifying and maturing our wines. So, after two years of planning and hard graft we wanted to share the pictures with you, including the messy business of cleaning tanks…….

Let the Wine Decide: Sablet – a citadel of ‘ruelles’ and home to our silkiest wine

August 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

Like Séguret, Sablet is classed as a named Côtes du Rhône Villages. Its lush vineyards rise gently up the lower slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail producing wines of great silkiness, for which Sablet is justly beginning to become more renowned. Notable for its medieval stone fortification, and ruelles (narrow covered alleys) its citadel of cobbled streets which spiral around the church of St Nazaire provided the inspiration for the name of our Sablet – ‘La Citadelle’.

Let the Wine Decide: On your marks for Harvest 2012

August 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Exciting times in the vineyard! ‘Véraison’ or grape ripening has now started which allows us to judge when the grapes are likely to be ready to harvest. The predicted date of harvest is especially important because we harvest by hand and must make sure enough teams trained pickers are at the ready. This week we follow activity in our Cairanne La Ruche vineyard as the ‘véraison’ of Syrah is starting to take place.

Cairanne Classroom – The Wine Teacher visits Boutinot Rhône

July 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm

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….

Let the Wine Decide: Vive les ‘Vieilles Vignes’!

July 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

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….

Let the Wine Decide: Séguret, slopes and ‘schisteux’

July 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm

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’.

Let the Wine Decide: Marvellous Mourvèdre…

July 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

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.

Let the Wine Decide: Reviving old varietals in Cairanne

June 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm

This week we travel west back down the slopes of La Montée de Ventabren to Saint Andéol and our oldest Grenache Noir vineyard. Here, protected by the wood that borders the plot, can be found vines dating back to 1946.

The vineyard holds two secrets; an old grotto hidden in the adjoining wood where long ago villagers fashioned charcoal in a ‘charbonnière; ‘and secondly a new planting of Carignan Noir! We at Boutinot Rhône are determined to retain this old southern French variety in the vineyards of Cairanne. Carignan Noir has been misunderstood and unfairly maligned: when produced from low yields its grapes have the potential to produce wine of incredible structure and acidity, a perfect counterfoil to rich, heady Grenache Noir.

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