Famille Brechet, Plateau des Chenes, AOC/AOP Lirac, Gard, France, 2013
Lirac is an appellation in the Gard departement, on the right bank of the Rhone, opposite Chateauneuf-du-Papes, producing red, white and rose. It has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and a dominant northerly Mistral wind blows. Soils are similar to Chateauneuf, with galets present throughout, with calcareous soils in the west, otherwise sandy. Reds are from GSM (grenache dominating), plus carignan and cinsault; rose may contain up to 20% white varieties, which are bourboulenc (adds citrussy notes and acidity), clairette and grenache blanc. Rose is declining in favour of reds, but produces better balanced roses, acidity-wise, than Tavel or Provence, using a minimum 40% grenache noir. Cotes-du-Rhone is also produced. Alcohol is typically high, at 14-15%.
This wine: A grenache noir dominated blend, with syrah and mourvedre. Some oak ageing; natural cork closure, 15% abv, Gauntleys, ~ £15
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity purple, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, medium (+) intensity, developing, with notes of rich ripe black cherry, kirsch, stewed strawberries, rich floral – peony and tea rose, liquorice, slightly savoury and damp earth, with the slightest whiff of wood.
Palate: a dry wine, medium acidity, fine-grained medium (+) tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture with a seeming sweetness of flavour aka sucrosity, with flavours of black cherry, black berry, black fruit boiled sweets, and sweet black liquorice. A medium (+) length, with a clean moderately grippy black fruit finish.
Quality: a very good quality wine, with balancing acidity and well-integrated tannins with alcohol, which whilst quite warming does not upset the overall harmony. Youthful according to the hue, but developing according to both nose and mid-palate, with tertiary liquorice, savoury and damp earth nuances. Of good intensity and concentration of flavour, reflected in the length, and showing some complexity.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: ready to drink now, has potential for ageing over say 3-4 years.