Glorious, old vine Carignan makes up most of the blend with 60% the rest being Syrah 30%, Grenache 10%. A decidedly inky blue in colour. Beautifully aromatic with red fruits, floral notes and white pepper. On the palate there are darker fruits, smokey oak and anise. Lots of flesh is present and sits on top of the dry structure. Drink it over the next few years with red meats.
Sylvain Boutée tends to his 8 hectare estate by himself, farming it organically since he purchased the vines and established the Domaine du Clos des Boutes in 2003. His approach to winemaking is one of minimalism, albeit tiny amounts of sulphur used. He aims for freshness and balance. Sylvain is a big believer of Carignan which he has planted alongside, Shiraz, Grenache, Clairette and Cariganan Blanc.
Costieres de Nimes – Part of the Rhone Valley although right on the border with Languedoc and sharing a similar terroir. Mostly reds are made here with Grenache and Shiraz. Whites and Rose are available too. There can be intense wines of amazing value found here.
Carignan – AKA Mazuelo, Cariñena and Samsó. This is a French variety that is often used as a bit player in a blend, generally it involves Grenache. Its late ripening can be problematic or a good insurance policy. In a blend it brings dark colour, high acid and tannin.
Shiraz/Syrah – A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on terroir and/or wine maker influence. The Syrah based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.
Garnacha – Spain’s gift to the world. We know it as Grenache and I think everyone has a soft spot for it in some way. Almost too exuberant in expressing its sweet red fruits and high alcohol, it often needs a little bit of other wines to add moderation, structure and depth. Much like Abbott and Costello. Despite this the wines of Priorat, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rioja and Aussie GSMs have an amazing ability to age for the long term.