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Nick Thompson forewent the pleasures of the family metal business to become a Vigneron 10 years ago. He moved to the Southern Rhône and purchased the rather run down and dilapidated Domaine de L'Ameillaud in Cairanne. He progressively replanted most of the vineyards and renovated the cellars and cuverie.
The Côtes du Rhône Villages is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Carignan, and 5% Mourvèdre. The grapes are fermented separately for around 3 weeks in a combination of stainless steel and cement vats - 10% of the cuvee is then aged in new oak barrels for 4 months before being returned to tank. The wines are blended and then lightly fined and filtered before being bottled 12 months later. An excellent source for mouthfilling fruity and spicy Southern Rhone reds.
Cairanne is located on a limestone plateau, its vineyards generally less elevated than those of Vacqueyras and Gigondas which are situated a few kilometres to the east. The wines are bench-mark Côtes du Rhône Villages, combining ripe fruit, pepper and spice. Welshman Nick Thompson has lived here a long time and his wines are now recognised as amongst the best in the village. I think he has now just about forgiven me for once describing him as a Scotsman…
Bottle 12 x 75cl1cs