2017 Les Grands Bois Cairanne Cuvee Maximilien (750ml)

Grenache from Côtes du Rhône, Rhône, France

B-21 Top Recommendation
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In his days as a sommelier in the über-hip Montmartre section of Paris, Marc Besnardeau was one of the city's finest. A great palate, keen olfactory senses and a knack for identifying unique wines by varietal served him well – his hands were always well manicured. Enter Mireille Farjon, the lady he would marry and who would change his life forever. Mireille's family established Domaine les Grands Bois in the 1930s just outside the Southern Rhone village of Cairanne. With his marriage to Mireille, Besnardeau left his city life for the rugged countryside and the challenges of being a vigneron. Lucky for him, his natural talents served him well. Mireille and her family work with multiple parcels and varietals throughout the Rhone Valley, planted to soils ranging from chalk and clay to scrubland covered with garrigue. Many parcels have reached their 60th, 70th birthdays. When Besnardeau began tending, harvesting and blending – bottling the nearly dozen individual, highly unique cuvees Domaine les Grands Bois is renowned for – he was a natural. He even stopped worrying about those dirty hands. I highly recommend both of these wines.


I was blown away by the 2017 Cairanne Maximilien, which might be the finest vintage to date for this cuvée. Sporting a saturated purple color as well as blockbuster notes of ripe black fruits, new leather, crushed rocks, and violets, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, integrated acidity, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. Based on a tank aged blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah, don’t miss a chance to latch onto a few bottles of this beauty. It will knock your socks off over the coming 5-7 years or so.

95 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Sep 2019)

Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%

46 bottles in stock. Ships in 1 to 2 business days.

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