French Wine – Lirac

This blog post has been a draft since October 2010. As you can see I have to prioritise and do other more important things.

My passion for red wine should be well know. For my birthday my wife got me a nice Australian Syrah we enjoyed last weekend. With French wines I either love or hate them. Tannat is my most favourite grape in France.

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On the other hand I discovered another region, Lirac, which is just opposite the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region on the Western hills of the Rhone River.

Red wine in Lirac is described as made from
– Grenache Noir (minimum 40%)
– Syrah and Mourvèdre (minimum of 25% together)
– Cnsault, and Carignan (maximum 10%).

Wikipedia gives greater details: “The style of red Lirac often resembles a soft Côtes du Rhône-Villages, but the more ambitious wines are often similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Rosé Lirac is usually similar to Tavel.”

Funny enough I have been trying a lot of du Papes and never really had one which I found overly stunning. Lirac on the other hand really appeals to me for some reason. Maybe this is because Lirac has a high percentage of Grenache (see also this excellent red wine). It is a grape that is spicy, berry-flavoured and soft on the palate with a relatively high alcohol content. Too much of it however is in the du Pape. Not sure, what the best mix for me would be, however I remember drinking an excellent Grenache in a French restaurant in London a few years ago.

Anyway, for someone like me that is not too keen on French and not too keen on Rhone wines, Lirac is an excellent exception showing that it depends on the region and on the actual blend whether you like a wine or not, independent from country or grapes really (latter to a certain extend).

In the meantime, please try Lirac from either Waitrose or one of the other many retailers 😉