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Lirac

Lirac is a large appellation located in the southern reach of the Rhone Valley, west of Chateauneuf du Pape, on the opposite side of the Rhone river. The wines are all produced from local varieties. In the case of the reds this means Grenache (minimum 40%), Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault while a smattering of Carignan is permitted, and the whites are made up of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Bourboulenc in varying proportions. Unusually, all three colours of wine are produced here – red, white and rose. The reds tend towards ripe, soft dark fruit; an overall style reminiscent of the better Cotes du Rhone Villages. However quality of terroir varies; soils vary from deep alluvial and clay with sand, to vineyards of tertiary rock, and slopes with “galets roules” (pudding stones) atop sandy soils. It is on the slopes that the more ambitious wines are often found. In the case of first-rate producers like Chateau Mont Redon, the Lirac appellation often provides an excellent alternative to Chateauneuf, as the wines have a similar flavour profile and structure, are inexpensive and will drink earlier, yet can also age enjoyably for 5+ years.