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Just across the Rhône from its distinguished neighbor Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Lirac shares a similar, yet less exalted, terroir. The key lies in the rounded riverbed stones (galets roulés) that litter the land as far as the eye can see. Beyond providing good drainage and insulation, these stones absorb the sun’s heat and reflect it back to the grapes at night, ensuring great ripeness each year for the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Carignan vines that make up the blend. The outcome is a goût de terroir characterized by ripe, dark, smoky fruit, with accents of Provençal herbs like thyme and lavender. Vigneronne Marine Roussel has worked hard to achieve the stony sensation that keeps things fresh in this rich, bold red, obtaining desirable results through conversion to organic and, later, biodynamic viticulture. Try her Lirac with herb-rubbed grilled meats or Provençal specialties like soupe au pistou.
|Blend:||40% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault & Carignan|
|Producer:||Domaine du Joncier|
|Soil:||Alluvial soils with large galets roulés|
|Aging:||Wines are aged for 18 months in underground, gravity-fed cuves|
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171