My husband is out of town, so I spent some time rifling through our cellar last night to find a wine for just me. In celebration of my upcoming trip to the Rhone Valley, I decided on a half bottle of the 2007 Domaine Catherine Le Goeuil Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne.
Cairanne, located in the French departement of Vaucluse, is a small village located between the Rhone River and the famous Dentelles de Montmirail mountain chain. Along with its neighbors Beaumes-de-Venise, Rasteau, Sablet, and Seguret, Cairanne is considered one of the five best areas allowed to use the Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC distinction. The red wines of this region require a minimum of 50% Grenache and at least 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre; other permitted varieties (Counoise, Cinsault and Carignan among others) must not exceed 20%.
Catherine Le Goeuil is a bit of a trailblazer. She was born in the Congo to French parents, but had always wanted to “return to her roots”. In 1993 she and her family bought this six-hectare domaine. After their first chemical treatment to the vineyards she became very ill, and she realized that if these chemicals made HER ill, they would also make the vines ill. She began the conversion to organic farming and today her winery is now certified organic.
And now for the wine! On the nose are bright berry aromas with a hint of fresh flowers and some damp earth. The palate of this medium bodied wine is very pleasing with spicy red currant, thyme and good acidity. This is a very pleasant wine possessing a substantial finish with black pepper and hints of the terroir.
I saved a glass for tonight and had it with a fresh salad drenched in a very garlicky dressing, along with a chunk of Beemster XO Gouda from Holland. It was a great pairing with both.
There are many lovely Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages wines on the market here in North America. A lot of these wines are of great value and don’t break the bank. This wine is one of them!