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Showing posts with label Lirac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lirac. Show all posts

10 February 2015

Rhone "reds of the moment": Rasteau & Lirac

The large-flavoured 2010 is the latest vintage release of Cave de Rasteau's 'premium' red called 'Les Hauts du Village', which, even if you only do a soupçon of French, is indeed "what it says on the label," a selected 'GSM' blend sourced from old vines on certain high-ground sites around Rasteau. It also differs from their other reds being about one third each of these varieties, with a higher proportion of Mourvèdre as opposed to the usual majority Grenache set-up. You'll find more words about this exciting co-op winery (90 this year by the way) and their other wines HERE, HERE and HERE.
Rasteau Les Hauts du Village 2010 - Mourvèdre 35%, Grenache 35%, Syrah 30% (just the Syrah aged in cask for a year), 14.5% abv. Earthy punchy nose layered with blackberry, black cherry and black olive too, peppery with savoury edges; fairly serious tannins vs lush dark fruit and spicy punchy finish, dry bitter twist balanced by lovely fruit and nice maturing 'tobacco' notes. Wow. After two days open (my old favourite test for big reds): more savoury and black olive on the nose and palate with lingering sweet vs spicy liquorice fruit, the tannins were a little rounder too. Predictably it's one of their dearer wines: €14.40 cellar door, £15.95 Hercules Wine Warehouse (UK), €20.49 O'Brien's (Ireland), $29.99 The Wine Merchant Cincinnati, $20-22 (plus tax) Total Wine & More.

From vignobles-alain-jaume.com
Alain Jaume & Fils doesn't do the southern Rhone Valley lightly, since the family owns vineyards in Vacqueyras, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Lirac with their winery base in Orange. It's the latter appellation I'm focusing on here, which sits waving at its grander neighbour over the other side of the Rhone and is decked out with the same old big stones and all that jazz. Clos de Sixte is an organically farmed vineyard located in this area and home to the rock n' roll 'GSM' blend I've reviewed below. Click on the web address under the photo for more info.
Lirac 2012 Domaine du Clos de Sixte (15% abv) - Grenache 50%, Syrah 35%, Mourvèdre 15%, and 30% of the wine is aged in cask for 14 months. Delicious bold red with bags of rich peppery black fruits and liquorice, a powerful mouthful yet concentrated and surprisingly balanced actually, fairly soft tannins and complex lingering sweet vs savoury flavours on its big finish. It's actually dearer than some CndPs, although stacks up well flavour-wise against serious examples from there: €13.20 cellar door, £17.50 Ellis Wharton, Wimbledon Wine (UK); €21.50 Mitchell & Sons (Dublin); $22-$28 B-21 Florida, MacArthur Beverages DC, Wine House CA, Total Wine & More and other stores around the US.

09 July 2012

Rhône: Palai Mignon, Tavel & Lirac

Tavel
www.vin-tavel.com

The compact neighbouring wine regions of Tavel and Lirac, known for their chunky rosés and reds based on Grenache, are classed under the Rhône Valley, which they are in lying just to the northwest of Avignon; although the village of Tavel, where this wee winery is found is actually in the Gard département in the Languedoc. A not particularly confusing fact though, nor terribly interesting and who gives a damn anyway, you may be tempted to add. The curiously named Palai Mignon (cute palace?) belongs to winegrower/maker Cyril Amido and comes to a slender three ha (7.5 acres) farmed organically - he set up this label in 2005 (having worked for the local co-op for years) and has been certified organic since the 2011 vintage. I couldn't find a website or blog but his email is cyril.amido@orange.fr, if you ever wanted to call in and taste sometime or find out where he sells his wines (outside of France), which are worth tracking down imho. I sampled these two tasty little numbers at Millésime Bio wine show in Montpellier earlier this year:


2011 Tavel (mostly Grenache + Syrah, Clairette, Carignan) - rich colour and rounded full-bodied style rosé, nice lees edges and a touch of 'mineral' character somehow, although this isn't especially acidic with its fruity oily texture. Different, good with food I'd imagine.

2011 Lirac 'Caprice' (mostly Grenache + Syrah, Mourvèdre) - aromatic perfumed and spicy liquorice fruit, ripe and juicy palate with attractive tannins and 'sweet' fruit, quite elegant actually with subtle grip and weight to finish. Very good.

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