I like Cairanne wines on the young side; Rasteau and Vacqueyras, with some extra age. The dark-toned mineral elements of Rasteau and Vacqueyras need some time to mellow out, in my opinion, whereas the red cherry/berry tones of Cairanne are more attractive to me than the leathery smells and tastes that develop once the fruit has started to fade. Corinne Couturier at Rabasse Charavin produces one of the top two or three Cairanne wines, and this 2004 still has a lot of pleasure to give...even though I liked it better a couple of years ago.
Deep ruby with some browning at edges. Lifted fragrance of flowers, dark cherries and herbs. Same on the palate with leathery notes and pepper on the finish. A bit past its peak, for my taste, but has good grip and typical Southern Rhone flavors.
Much higher on the Corinne Couturier list--and one of my favorite wines--is the Cairanne Cuvee Estevenas, from some of the oldest vines in the appellation.