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Top of the Vintage “Delicious” WA92 Lirac for Under $18 - 01/21/2018 - Rhone Valley

When we first tasted the 2015 Domaine La Loyane Lirac, we were immediately transfixed. This 92-point, sub-$18 red exudes purity, freshness, and a layered complexity that belies its modest price. Lirac is a favorite Rhône appellation for those “in-the-know,” as the best wines offer a profile that’s striking similar Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but for a fraction of the price. Even a cursory scan of the tasting notes below will reveal this is a red of surprising depth, as it is rich, dense, and with a rusticity unique to the wines of the Southern Rhône. Not only is did it notch 92 points from Wine Advocate, but did so in a blind tasting of nearly 50 wines where it was one of the best Lirac of a great vintage. Winemaker Romaine Dubois is doing amazing things at his 75 acres property and this 2015 clearly shows all of this hard work has paid off well. For Rhône drinkers, this scrumptious red is an absolute must, and for those who haven’t enjoyed the wines of Lirac yet, you won’t find a better launching point.

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2015 Domaine La Loyane Lirac ($17.99)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A welcome find in blind tasting through some 46 Liracs was Domaine La Lôyane's 2015 Lirac, which featured intoxicating aromas of cherries and chocolate. This full-bodied, cedar and richly tannic wine finishes with flourishes of cherry and vanilla. It's a bit modern and ripe but frankly delicious. (JC)" (10/2017)

K&L Notes: Romaine Dubois began his tutelage in winemaking at the ripe age of 15 under the watchful eye of his father. Some twenty years later, he now has about 75 acres of property straddling the appellations of Lirac and Tavel where Romaine and his wife Laure farm organically. The Lirac bottling is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah that is brought up in a mix of stainless steel and used 600L oak barrels preserving the freshness and character of the wine and the appellation.

Staff ImageGreg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 11, 2018

The nose on this wine is full of deep, penetrating, dark fruit, and its not bashful. The fruit however is not sweetish, it smells refreshing, focused and layered. On the palate this wine has a distinct richness that is harnessed by some sweet tannins and refreshing acidity giving the wine a more faceted palate presence. A long and powerful finish, highlighted by the saturated fruit character, bits of spice and that dynamic structure. The wine is a mouthful and will be best served with richer meat or casserole dishes but is still delicious to drink now. A few years of age will do this wine a world of good.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 11, 2018

If you've enjoyed the Baron Louis from Chateau Montfaucon (a K&L classic) over the years, then I'd take a serious look at this similarly-structured Lirac from Domaine La Loyane. Lirac is just across the river from Chateauneuf du Pape, so the wines have a similar make up and flavor profiledark fruits, structure, weight. However, while the Parker review describes this wine as "modern," there's nothing flashy or overtly fruity about this wine out of the bottle. It's more of an old school bistro wine when you first pop and pour, so make sure to give it time in a decanter and get some air into it. After a good twenty minutes the rusticity blows off and the berries become more pronounced on the nose. A half hour later, you're drinking the wine you were meant to drink: cherries, chocolate, and chewy tannins. It's a pretty serious wine for the sub-$20 price point. There are no training wheels here; there's a lot going on once you begin to unlock all those delicious layers.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 11, 2018

So many of our customers are excited about buying the 2015's from the Rhone, and the La Loyane Lirac is a great example of why. This is dense, rich southern Rhone, but still has great earthiness and enough acidity to balance its tannin. If you are looking for a great Rhone to pair with grilled meats, or even cassoulet, this is a great choice. It will also reward medium term cellaring, so if you like it as much as I do, get a couple extras for years to come.

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 11, 2018

You may often read our poetic waxing about Chateau de Montfaucon, so sometimes I worry that we talk a little too much about their often overlooked region of Lirac. But there is still so much to say, especially when you have an intriguing new discovery like Domaine La Loyane! Lirac as a region sits across the river from famed Chateauneuf du Pape, that has similar soil structure and hillsides with all the same grape varieties grown in tandem. It even has the historic significance of being one of the main export routes out of the region even before the Catholic church decided to move the papacy to Avignon. The region was even recognized with Cru status just a few years after Chateauneuf. But maybe we shouldn't say too much more as most of the prices in Lirac are depressed compared to what you would pay for a CDP of comparable quality. Double the price on the La Loyane and you would easily mistake it for a top producer across the river. Somewhere along the spectrum of Pegau or Le Vieux Donjon with beautiful blackcurrant fruit and notes of fig. A light sauvage character of earth and spice fills the glass. The Loyane is supple, not too sweet with just enough rusticity to remind you that you are definitely drinking French Rhone wines. Now cut the price in half and here we are back in Lirac, getting the same quality juice and character for a fraction of what the old Pope would have paid.

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 07, 2018

The string of exceptional 2015's from the Southern Rhone continues with the Domaine La Loyane Lirac. The aromas are totally appealing--spice, black fruits, and a hint of savory character. On the palate the wine expresses good intensity, solid concentration, and hints of tobacco among rich fruit. Its flashy and polished, totally likable in everyway, but just enough of that old-world character to make it interesting.