Monday, February 5, 2024

Domaine Juliette Avril - AOP Cairanne 2019

The origins of the Cairanne AOP vineyards derive from the Roman period where vines have been tended for at least two millennium. The name « Cairanne » probably comes from the Latin « Cara », which means « rock » or « stone », referring to the stony and stony soils characteristic of the area.
I received a Hopwine package of three wines from Domaine Juliette Avril and was quite enamored with their AOP Cairanne 2019. Cairanne is an appellation for quality red, white and rosé wines from the parish of Cairanne in the southern half of the Rhone Valley in France. The wines were previously classified as 'Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne', but after an extended period where it was seen by many as as the most consistently excellent of the villages, it was elevated to cru status in 2016. This means that wine produced here is now just labeled 'Cairanne'. (

Cairanne's climate is Mediterranean, characterized by hot and dry summers, and mild winters. This sunny climate is strongly influenced by the proximity of the Mediterranean, which acts as a thermal regulator, moderating temperature variations.  The Rhone River also acts as a thermal regulator, moderating temperature variations and protecting the vines from winter frosts. Thus nights are usually cool in the area and this day-night thermal amplitude allows the grapes to maintain acidity, which brings a touch of freshness to the wines and balances their richness in alcohol.

Domaine Juliette Avril is currently managed by the grandson of Juliette Avril's, Stephan Brun-Avril. He represents the third generation of an estate consisting of 43 ha in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cairanne, Côtes du Rhônes Villages Plan de Dieu, and Côtes du Rhône appellations. The Cairanne vines cover over 10 ha over two types of terroirs: white limestone clays (cold earth that gives the wines tight, robust, powerful tannins) and red clays (which provide a generous aroma).

The AOP Cairanne 2019 is made from a GSM blend of Grenache 65%, Syrah 25% & Mourvèdre 10%. It is a wine of character but still well balanced and supple. The grapes are mixed during harvest and fermented together.  The aroma is earthy with some leather that yields to a fresh fruit and black pepper. The tannins are approachable yet build structure and depth. 

The Hopwine kit also included two other wines starting with a very delicious AOP Côtes du Rhône 2020. The is a majority Carignan blend that also includes Cinsaut, Grenache, and Syrah. It is herbaceous, fruity (dark plums) with very approachable acidity and tannins. AOP Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2019 is a blend of Grenache 65%, Syrah 25% & Mourvèdre 10% that was aged casks for six months. Expect a lively aroma, vibrant fruit, black tea, and a long, friendly finish. 

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