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Montfaucon in Decanter magazine

Tasted by Matt Walls (at 2017 En primeur tastings, Rhône Valley, 01 Nov 2018)

Vin de Mme la Comtesse Lirac 2017 : 93 This is made from one of the oldest parcels of vines in the Rhône valley, a 0.6ha plot planted before 1870 and yielding 25lh/ha in 2017. The wine is aged for eight months in two- to five-year-old barriques, followed by a further 15 months in bottle before release. It's full-bodied, rounded and flows slowly across your palate. The aromatics are subtle and elusive however at this stage, with some honeysuckle, heather and perfumed quince. A very well balanced wine, dry and savoury on the very long, focussed finish. It's a very specific style that brings to mind more place than flavour. I may regret not marking this higher when it blossoms in 10 years time. Drinking Window 2022 - 2030

Comtesse Madeleine Lirac 2017 : 92 Fermented then aged for seven months in old barriques, this has a stunning nose of tutti-frutti and floral notes. It's medium-bodied, really vibrant and fresh - withholding the malolactic has worked well here, bringing freshness and precision to the expression of the vintage. There's some very subtle oak spice on the long finish. Complex, drinkable, classically Lirac. Drinking Window 2018 - 2022

Baron Louis Lirac 2017 : 92 80% of the hand-harvested and destemmed fruit spends a year in one- or two-year-old barriques. Then it all spends a year in concrete, followed by a year in bottle. It's an interesting, spicy style with great purity and precision. Fine tannins rise up on the finish. A lovely juicy fruit expression, this has a real sense of balance and harmony, really drinkable. Drinking Window 2019 - 2021

Vin de Mr le Baron Lirac 2017 : 93 A blend of Bourboulenc, Carignan, Cinsault, Clairette, Counoise, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir, Marsanne, Mourvèdre, Piquepoul and Syrah, all grown on galets and yielding 20hl/ha in 2017. The fruit is co-planted and co-fermented in concrete, then aged for one year in old barriques, one year in concrete, and two years in bottle before release. The wine is darkly coloured with deep and savoury aromatics of herbal bitters, liquorice and blackberry. The palate has good intensity, displaying a slick of berry fruits encased in a firm, crunchy, saline tannic shell. It has a long finish with intensity, freshness, vibrancy and a mineral edge. Drinking Window 2021 - 2027


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