Domaine Maby, La Fermade, AOC/AOP Lirac, Southern Rhone, 2013
An appellation on the right bank of the Rhone, opposite Chateauneuf-du-Papes. It covers 4 communes – Lirac, St Laurent des Arbres, Roquemaure and St Genies de Colomas. Red, white and rose are produced. Permitted varieties are grenache noir, syrah, mourvedre, cinsaut and carignan, and for the whites grenache blanc, clairette, bouboulenc, ugni blanc, piquepoul, roussanne, marsanne and viognier. The climate is Mediterranean, with the cool northerly Mistral wind prevailing. Soils are varied, the Lirac commune has limestone plateaus overlain with red clay and pebbles; Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres is on alluvial terraces of sand with overlying quartz pebbles and clay; and at St Genies de Colomas is on sand and pebbles.
This wine is a blend of grenache blanc (high alcohol and low acidity), clairette (high alcohol, low acidity and floral notes) and picpoul (‘lip-stinger’ providing the acidity), from Lirac and St Laurent des Arbres. Nomacorc closure, 14% abv, BBR, about £16
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity lemon, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium (+) intensity, youthful, with aromas of freshly cut green apple, rich freshly-made apple puree, a hint of apricot skin, a hint of hazelnut, white grapefruit and grapefruit pith.
Palate: a dry wine, with medium (+) acidity, a very slight gummy grip, medium (+) alcohol and a medium (+) body, a smooth texture, of medium intensity, with flavours of rich apple puree, ripe white grapefruit, and hints of unripe apricot and nuts. A medium (+) length, with a clean appley/citrus finish with a low-key gummy grip from maceration on the skins, with a slight bitterness on the end.
Quality: a good quality wine, with quite high alcohol, perhaps a little too dominating, but still balanced by the decent acidity. There is a hint of flabbiness on the attack, but the acidity breaks through on the mid-palate. Not a complex wine but neither is it simple or lacking otherwise, with decent concentration of flavour following through to the good length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, it has the intensity structure and length to hold for 1-2 years, but will not improve.