On a Rholl

Posted on February 1, 2009


I don’t know if it’s the LCBO or my palate, but for some reason the Rhone has really been workin for me the last few weeks.  This week, I picked up an offering from this week’s vintages release.  Lirac is on the west bank of the Rhone river right across from Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Soils are composed of red clay, sand and small stones called galets.  Wines from Lirac have a minimum of 40% Grenache, 25% Syrah and Mourvedre, and a maxium of 10% Cinsault and Carignan.

VINTAGES 76349 | 750 mL bottle      

Price: $ 26.95 

Inky sexy and dark.  The nose is a beautiful mix of earth and perfume.  Starts with some gamey aromas, and then moves on into cedar, blackberry, raspberry and a hint of blueberry.  There is also something floral here that makes me think of warmer days.  I think of blackberries when I take my first sip – not the kind you get in the grocery store, but cool, sweet and dense,  picked from a bush in the back 40 somewhere.  Silk turns to velvet as the tannins kick in, and there’s a really nice complexity here.  I’m still thinking blackberry, raspberry, a hint of blueberry.  The midpalate brings a little savouriness – roasted nuts, and some green and mineral notes.  On second taste, I get the minerality more – like some bluestone.  Fresh blackberries, a handful of raspberries and a few blueberries – some leaves from the bush as well – mix ’em together, throw in some really dark chocolate, lick some rocks and drink it, you’re really getting this one.  

There is a lot of structure here too, and the tannins don’t get me on the first taste, but after a couple swishes my palate begins to tell me about the tannins.  The finish is long and fruit driven – more of the blackberries, a little black cherry, and more of the minerals.  

This drinks REALLY well now – and it’s so fruit driven I think lots of people will enjoy it.  I also think the structure is here that it would be an interesting taste a few years out!  This is one of those great wines you can share with friends who don’t drink wine, and they will say “wow, this is great”. In the same crowd, if there are some more experienced wine enthusiasts, they will give you a knowing nod.  This is well balanced, with a wonderfully complex profile and some structure to enjoy as well.  Excellent!  

Posted in: tasting notes