2020 Lirac, La Lorentine, Domaine de Marcoux, Rhône

2020 Lirac, La Lorentine, Domaine de Marcoux, Rhône

Product: 20201145490
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2020 Lirac, La Lorentine, Domaine de Marcoux, Rhône

Description

Marcoux’s wonderfully appealing, organic Lirac has a fine nose of sweet, ripe raspberries and blackberries (think raspberry and blackberry crumble-ripe). It is enticing, juicy and pure but has a real sense of freshness to the aromas. The wine has a rather lovely, Christmassy top note of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger spice.

The palate is medium weight and oh-so-juicy. The fruit really is mouth-wateringly succulent and the wine is comfortingly warm but neither feels heavy or rich, just gloriously drinkable on a cold, winter’s day. The fruit on the palate moves more into red and black cherry. It feels rounded and delicious with tannins that have a gentle grip but then become like powder and disappear. The finish is fresh and long – and extremely mineral. In fact, it is that mineral freshness which runs through the core of this wine which makes it such a delight to taste. This would be best served slightly cool to accentuate the fruit and this wine’s refreshingly pure finish. Drink 2022 (decanted) – 2030.

Catriona Felstead MW, Senior Wine Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (Nov 2021)

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Price per case
6 x 75cl bottle
Berry Bros. & Rudd BB&R 34 cases £72.00
En Primeur UK ONLY Limited availability
En Primeur UK ONLY Limited availability

Critics reviews

Jeb Dunnuck88/100
Jeb Dunnuck88/100
The 2020 Lirac, which is a mix of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, is slightly deeper hued and has medium-bodied aromas and flavors of blackberries, black raspberries, ground pepper, and violets. It shows plenty of Syrah character in a balanced, elegant package. It’s worth pointing out that they’ve planted more Grenache for this cuvée, so expect the blend to shift towards that variety in the future, which I think is a good thing.

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (Nov 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Domaine de Marcoux

Domaine de Marcoux

Sisters Sophie and Catherine Armenier have elevated Marcoux to the very highest ranks. Today Sophie diligently runs the winery, while her son Vincent looks after the vineyards. There are 25 hectares in total, with 18 hectares right in the heart of the prime Châteauneuf-du-Pape terroir of La Crau plateau with the rest in Lirac and the other Côtes du Rhône villages. Certified as organic by Ecocert as early as 1991, this year marks three decades of rigorous organic and then biodynamic principles. Certainly, this attention to the soil stood them in good stead during the heatwaves of 2019.

Sophie Armenier comments that her 2019 wines are very colourful and generous, with aromas of red fruit. The tannic structure is elegant, and this vintage is shaping up to be one with a very good ageing potential.

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Lirac

Lirac

A short hop across the river Rhône from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Lirac was traditionally best-known for its rosés, but increasingly its approachable, full-bodied reds are taking centre stage. Less Grenache-dominated than its neighbours, the current trend for Lirac is towards a greater proportion of Syrah and Mourvèdre, which gives the wines a pleasing firmness and a rich, silky spiciness. The wines can normally be enjoyed from two years’ ageing, up to 10 in some cases.

Lirac’s full, fragrant, food-friendly whites are surprisingly good, containing a minimum of one-third Clairette with the rest made up from Bourbolenc, Grenache Blanc and up to 25 percent each (but no more than 30 percent in total) of Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Ugni Blanc and Picpoul. They are best enjoyed in their youth but can last for up to five years.

Rosé production is declining here, which is a shame as the rosés are good value with a lovely, dry, full-bodied summer fruit palate that is zingier than either neighbouring Tavel (which they resemble) or Provence.

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Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.

In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.

Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.

 

Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.

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