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2010 Lirac by Roger Sabon, Lirac

Lirac is a wine-growing Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in the department of Gard, situated in the low hills along the right bank of the Rhône River in the southern Rhône wine region of France. It is named after the village of Lirac. Bordering on the neighboring cru of Tavel AOC, a rosé-only cru in the next village, Lirac is one of the 13 crus of the Rhône valley family. Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC lies across the Rhône from it.
This area has a long vinous history. Lirac wines were appreciated by the royal and papal courts in Avignon at the time of the schism. Pope Innocent IV ordered 20 casks of wine from there in 1357 and Henry IV of France and Louis XIV served them regularly at court, where they were called simply Rhône wine. In the mid-17th century, the right-bank district of the Côte du Rhône (CDR) had issued regulations to govern the quality of its wine, and in 1737 the king ordered that casks of Lirac wine shipped from the nearby river port of Roquemaure should be branded with the letters CDR to introduce a system of protecting its origin. The rules for its Côte du Rhône thus formed the very early basis of today's nationwide AOC system governed by the INAO.

APPEARANCE: Bright, dark garnet with intense red highlights; translucent; long-clinging robe in the glass.

AROMATICS: Blue and red fruits; ripe strawberry; rich, ripe, luscious, and round. Sweet vanilla notes.

TASTE PROFILE: Flavors build from aromas; silky, generous, and with a long finish. The red strawberry-like notes (Grenache!) offer a delightful round and rich wine with a long finish.

FOOD PAIRINGS: Veal, pork roast or pork chops, roast chicken, duck breast, pheasant, and other game birds; cheese selections – Gruyere, Cheddar Mozzarella, Edam.

By Don Clemens

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