This Domaine, run by the brothers Michel and Andre Berthet-Rayne, began in
the 1880’s as a modest 6 hectare vineyard plot. 4 generations onward, this
winery’s holdings have swelled to 25 in the one of the Côtes du Rhône region’s
most desirable locations – Cairanne. At the edge of the sun-baked Plan de Dieu
plateau this is part of the ‘Villages’ appellation. Officially including the name of the
village, this AOC designation signifies a superior grade of wine being made here
in the Southern Rhône Valley. Elevated quality is due to stringent requirements
that includes pruning techniques to both thin the vines for better aeration and
lower the grape yields – resulting in more characterful and concentrated fruit.
As of this vintage, the farm’s output is also certified organic and chemical-free.
Influencing the character of this terroir is the clay and calcareous (calcium-rich)
soil covered in the drainage-promoting, crushed rock top layer left behind by the
retreating Rhône glacier. Now in its place, the frigid winds of the Mistral (derived
from ‘miserable’) blow for upwards of 150 days per year, often at near-hurricane
speeds! Though frequently destructive, an upside of these blasts is that they blow
off the moisture-loving fungus growth in spring and cool the vine stock and grape
clusters during the hottest, wilting periods of summer.
The harvest and vinification involves 100% hand picking and sorting, as well as,
fermentation in individual tanks to better ensure that this equal-parts blending
of Clairette, Marsanne, Bourboulenc and traditional star variety Roussanne
– is of a consistently high-caliber.
First established as a wine growing region by the Greeks in the 4th century BCE,
more recently this wine won a Silver Medal at the prestigious Concours Général
Agricole de Paris 2012. With this release you can dare to think that a white wine
from the Côtes du Rhône can be as rich and satisfying as its red counterparts!
BERTHET-RAYNE TRADITION CAIRANNE CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES 2011
VINTAGES –LCBO Product #354100 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Rhône, France
By: Dom Andre Berthet-Rayne – Earl Les
Release Date: Mar 1, 2014
With its tell-tale notes of pear, plums and touches of honey, this weighty-white
also delivers a fine supporting minerality imparted from calcium-laden soils.
Best served with food, try this with roasted vegetable minestrone, lamb and
grilled poultry and fish.