In a nutshell: A serious, restrained, rich and smooth Côtes du Rhône red.
The lowdown: This is Boutinot Rhône's flagship cuvee and is rich, intense and drenched in dark red fruits. To make this they use traditional vinification techniques - indigenous yeast and a long cuvaison period, followed by maturation for 22 months in mostly old French oak barrels to develop a wine of great concentration, complexity and finesse. The grape varieties used are mostly Grenache alongside Syrha and Carignan. With morello cherry and a touch of sweet spice on the nose, ripe berry, liquorice, chocolate, summer pudding and a hint of cinnamon spice on the palate, this wine is full flavoured and smooth with supple tannins.
When to drink: A rich, savoury and meaty mouthful and is a perfect match for red meat dishes and rich stews.
Boutinot's love affair with the southern Rhône spans thirty years of making wine in the region. In 2010 the relationship was sealed with the purchase of a winery and vineyards above the village of Cairanne which lies in the heart of the southern Rhône valley, north east of Orange.
Domaine Boutinot's seven vineyards, planted with classic southern Rhône varieties - old vine Grenache Noir and Syrah, Mourvèdre and the more traditional Carignan Noir - all fall within the Cairanne Cru map, sanctioned in 2016 when Cairanne was granted its own appellation status. By working with their vigneron neighbours, they help revive traditional varieties such as Cinsault and Counoise and in the cellar they prefer time-honoured winemaking methods such as a long cuvasion aided only by natural yeasts, gentle remontage, manual pigeage and patient maturation in a nursery of French oak barrels.