Red, Ready, but will keep

2016 Lirac, La Lorentine, Domaine de Marcoux

2016 Lirac, La Lorentine, Domaine de Marcoux

Red | Ready, but will keep | Domaine de Marcoux | Code:  48905 | 2016 | France > Rhône > Lirac | Southern Rhône Blend | Medium Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol


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Bottle 6 x 75cl 51cs

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The Producer

Domaine de Marcoux

Domaine de Marcoux

Domaine de Marcoux, a small Châteauneuf domaine, is owned and managed by Catherine and her sister, Sophie Estevenin. After a visit to Domaine Leroy in Burgundy in 1990 Philippe put one third of his 34 hectares to bio-dynamic culture in 1990. Today all the vineyards are farmed according to bio-dynamic principles. This is designed to bring the vineyard back into balance after the post-war excessive use of chemicals. Armenier also feels that this renewed balance results in more effective photosynthesis, contributing to a steadier, more even ripening process.

The vineyards are planted with Grenache (70%), Mourvèdre (10%), Cinsault (5%) and Syrah (5%). Another 5% is given over to different vines varieties such as Muscardin, Counoise and Vaccarèse. Marcoux has its vineyards dotted around the appellation and is therefore blessed with a large variation of soil-types, ranging from the large round smooth stone soils, to sand, gravel and limestone. The regular Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the best examples in the appellation, while the Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is a powerful and concentrated wine and is now one of the most sought after deluxe cuvées in Châteauneuf.

The Grape

Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

The Region


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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