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2018 Cairanne ‘Les Six’, Domaine Boutinot, Rhône

Roll up, roll up! There’s a handful of cases of this staple of the Songbird Wines portfolio on offer, as room needs to be made for the incoming 2019. Never one to shy away from a deal, I have snapped up what I can, and am offering it up at £12.50 a bottle (original RRP £15).

So, some info:

Cairanne is the southern Rhône’s newest Cru, but it has been producing wines of exceptional value for years, back when it was a more humble Côtes du Rhône Villages. It was elevated to Cru status in 2016. So what is a Cru? Well in the case of the Southern Rhône it is the specified region that is permitted to feature its name on the wine’s label, so other local Crus include Gigondas, Vacqueyras and, probably the most famous, Châteauneuf du Pape. However, the term Cru is also used in other wine producing areas of France like Burgundy, where it relates to the vineyard – Premier Cru or Grand Cru – and Bordeaux, where you have the 1855 classification of Chateaux which designates them between Premier Cru (1st Growth) and a Cinquièmes Cru (5th Growth). Who says French wine is complicated..?

Anyway, back to this delicious Cairanne. ‘Les Six’ is named after the six grape varieties used in the blend, some familiar (Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre) and others less so (Cinsault, Counoise and Carignan Noir). All are hand-picked and hand-sorted to ensure perfect ripeness. The grapes are fermented in large 6,000 litre oak vats (not new oak) and then matured for 10 months in the same vessel. The result is a joyous red wine that offers intense flavours of red and black fruit but with plenty of fresh acidity to give it a long shelf life.

An absolutely cracking glass of red. Full flavoured and intense but the underlying freshness manages to keep the juicy, opulent fruit well in check. Ripe blackberries with summer fruit and very soft tannins make this dangerously drinkable – don’t get stuck into this at a barbecue if you want your guests to leave before midnight!” Songbird Wines

 There is a very limited supply of this so be quick off the mark to avoid disappointment.

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