Domaine Romain Roche

France, Rhône

Cairanne is a very pretty walled village beautifully set between the arid plain of the ‘Plan de Dieu’ and the mountains of the Dentelles de Montmirail. It is one the villages of the Côtes du Rhône which has been producing wine for generations. Like its neighbours (Vacqueyras and Gigondas) Cairanne wines are known for their power without heaviness, their length and intensity. Cairanne is one of about 20 villages that are permitted to add their names to the ‘Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation, having been identified as producing higher-quality wines distinctive of the regional style. Romain Roche’s father Marcel has around thirty hectares of vines, and has always sold his grapes to the co-operative, of which he is president. Romain wanted to make his own wine and after studying oenology in Beaune, Montpellier and Toulouse, but also with stays in the United States and Australia, has been able to choose fifteen hectares of his father’s vines to rent to start his own domaine in 2009. His signature is for powerful wines, pure, fine and balanced. “Tout passe par la vigne” - Everything goes through the vine - This is the motto of the domain, as they adapt their vinification according to the quality of the grapes harvested. The different terroirs of the domain are adapted to each variety: white clay limestone for Syrah, red clay pebble compounds for the Grenache and Carignan. After manual harvesting and total de-stemming the grapes, the work done during the vinification accentuates all these efforts because each variety, each parcel, is vinified separately in small vats. A daily tasting assesses the evolution of the wine, and a small part of the Syrah is aged in oak to refine the tannins, rather than develop wooded flavours. With a mix of tradtion and modernity, the fruits flavours of the Grenache, the complexity of the Carignan and the finesse of the Syrah, Romain’s wines are a true reflection of Cairanne terroir, powerful and subtle.

Other reviews and comments
       Run by the young Roman Roche, who’s aided by Philippe Cambie, Domaine Roche is quickly becoming one of my favorite estates in Cairanne. In addition to their Cairanne releases, they also produce a terrific Cotes du Rhone. Jeb Dunnuck -