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The Wines

40-70% Grenache, 10-40% Mourvèdre, 20-25% Syrah (mainly 1977-83, plus some 1967) from galet stone covered soils, hand harvested, destemmed, 5 day cold maceration at 10°C (first done in 2006), 3-5 week vinification, part vat emptying/refilling, pumping overs, cap punching, Grenache & Mourvèdre concrete vat raised, Syrah oak cask raised 9-11 months (all the wine steel vat raised 9-11 months before mid-2010s), unfined, filtered, “drink with red meats, poultry”, 60-80,000 b

2016 ()

dark red. The nose is on reduction, so there is a “high”, stewed fruit aroma, raspberry and blackberry mixed; it has a savoury, sweet-notes ripeness, a little back trail of minerality. Air helps it. This tastes well now, is criss-crossed with mulberry-cassis fruits, juicy in nature; there’s a snap of darkness in the fruit. The tannins bring a grain-powder final stage. The Mourvèdre gives licorice as it closes, where it’s fresh, menthol there. It’s not yet fused, doesn’t flow as one, the two halves a little apart. It’s vivid, but rather disjointed. 14.5°. 80,000 b. 60% Gren, 20% Syr, 20% Mourv. From spring 2019. 2030-32 Sept 2018

2015

dark plum red colour. There is a real garrigue display on the nose – mixed herbes de Provence, sweet plum fruit, true Grenache presence, a dab of licorice – it has the roundness and shape of a warm vintage. The palate is spiced, based on gourmand plum fruit; its texture is appealing, squeezy, and it lengthens well, Mourvèdre giving it a late extra spur. This is good, approachable Lirac with the sun and land of the south in the glass. It darkens a touch on the aftertaste – more Mourvèdre influence there. This is nice and generous wine that goes admirably long. 14.5°. 2027-29 June 2017

2014

medium red robe. Strawberry jam, red berry first aroma – a nose of neat circumstance, doesn’t reach for the stars. The palate is also trim, offers supple red berry fruit, ending with a suave note of raspberry. This is simple, but drinks soundly. 14.5°. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv. 65,000 b. 2022-23  Feb 2016 

2011

dark red. Grilled first air is the immediate impact, with fig and mocha backing, prune, spiced stewed plums. The palate is savoury, all on a fluid roundness, has attractive length and freshness, with darkening towards the finish from its tannins. This has a circular shape, with plenty at its centre, is still young and promising. There is a lightly oaked, tarred aftertaste, and it runs fully to the finish. The spot of freshness raises its rating. Harvested from 16 Sept (the Syrah first), until 3 Oct (the Mourvèdre last). 14.5°. €9.70. 65% Gren, 23% syr, 12% Mourv this year. From 2014. 2025-26  May 2013

2009

full red, light black traces. Fresh, licorice-dark fruits nose – modern style, not yet really out, is restrained, and for now it is Mourvèdre and Syrah that lead the charge. Black jam in the flavour, with a firm tannic siding around the gras richness. Clean-cut fruit lies at its core. Shows a pocket of late gras. A sleek sort of wine, with licorice showing on the late length, aftertaste. From 2012 mid for more expression. 14.5°, not a patsy. 2024-26 June 2011

2007 ()

thorough dark red robe. The bouquet is wide, brewed, shows scented coffee – it is weighty and broad. The palate contains pushy black fruits, is a gutsy wine, leaves a trail of chocolate, licorice tannin and marked heat and tar on the aftertaste. A wine with plenty of depth that is a bit ponderous, and does not drink that easily. Suited to foods such as wild boar, big flavours. Slow improver over time. 14.5°. To 2025-27.  Dec 2009  Previously March 2009 *** (bottled six weeks ago) full robe; nutty, biscuity outer air to the bouquet – it is smoky, upright, has licorice and black fruit within. The palate is the bearer of blackberry fruit – this has “dark” notions with a clamp of tannin as it goes, culminating in a tarry end. This is unformed as yet, and needs to integrate its acidity on the finish. It has more tannin than some 2007s, and needs leaving until early 2010 to settle and soften its finish. 2025-27 March 2009 Previously June 2008 from four casks *** good portents from different varieties – could be a 3 star wine. The Grenache is fine, the Syrah has good heart, can live 16+ years, the Mourvèdre is very typical and impressive, with bonny length. June 2008, 4 different casks

2006

good, bright blackberry robe. The bouquet holds supple blackberry and plum fruit with a nutty, supple side. The palate also has a rounded nature, but is sappy and a little flat-toned. This could be served cool. It is quite broad at the finish until a rather grainy, tannic aftertaste. From spring 2009 or late 2008. 2020-22 June 2008

2005 ()

still stable robe – full blackberry. The nose is at a measured stage, just on the crossroads between the first and second phase: there is black fruit in the aroma, but the depth skips a beat. The palate fruit is a running affair, with a complete tone to it, and good length. There are some wee upright late moments, via some tar and licorice. There is still some tannin there. Wait for more integration and nuance – this has gone into its shell since a year ago. From mid to late-2009 for this currently upright wine. “In retrospect, I would have liked another four days on the vine, so I would have picked riper grapes,” Richard Maby. Grenache & Syrah were large barrel raised for six months, then vat raised 12 months, the Mourvèdre 18 months in large barrel this year. 2022-24 June 2008 Previously June 2007 ****(*) full, dark robe; snappy black fruit nose with a pistachio content, is elegant, live and classy. Direct black fruit with an oily nature comes out on the attack, and has a good, herbal, oak backdrop. The oak has been well handled, and needs 18 months. Could really rock when it is mature – around 2010, for instance, when there would be lots of variety in it. The length is good, the fruit very sustained. Shows confident winemaking, better than many at Lirac (tasted blind). Ripe, with some tar and licorice on the aftertaste. Very suave, a wine of great balance, is delightfully thorough. All systems go. 50% Grenache, 25% each Syrah and Mourvèdre this year. 2022-24 June 2007