On a map, the Rhone region can look very broad and expansive, with dividing lines drawn arbitrarily. In person it makes sense because of how the geography draws the lines for you, and it actually becomes surprising how quickly some of the major changes happen. Lirac and Tavel sit side by side just across the river from Avignon and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, home to some of the most intense wines in France, yet are combined known more for their Rose production than anything else. The key is in the river itself: the areas to the North and East of it slope up towards the Ardeche Mountains and have a looser rocky soil, while to the South and West the soils are more sand. Though the wine is made by the local co-operative, it is all from a single site just outside of Roquemaure, literally across the bridge from Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A classic Rhone blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre, as well as a healthy splash of Carignan from the oldest parcel of vines on the property, this definitely swings with the strength of its neighbors across the way. Lovely kirsch cherry, blackberry, dark spice and iodine on the nose, with nice weight on the palate and a more savory peppery note to the finish than on the nose. Lots of value to be had here.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!