Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wines I'm Drinking: 2003 Domaine la Rocalière Lirac

I recently picked up a few bottles of the 2003 Domaine La Rocalière Lirac at Grocery Outlet on the strength of the name Lirac, which is one of my favorite southern Rhône villages. At their best, the wines of Lirac are ripe and fruity and redolent of violets but with some finesse as well. I was surprised to see a 2003 Lirac on the shelves. I was hoping it would be a soft, mature wine with some of the characteristics I most associate with Lirac. I was not disappointed. I will go back first thing tomorrow morning to buy a case of this. It's a bargain at only $4.99 a bottle (or $4.49 a bottle by the case).

The wine is a deep brick red, showing its age. It has hints of citrus on the nose, but mostly offers earthy, compost-like scents, barnyard scents reminiscent of a good Burgundy, and violets--in short, everything I was hoping for. The wine is is ripe and rich on the palate with a long, sweet finish suggestive of raisins or prunes (in a good way) and just enough delicate tannin to keep things interesting. Yes, it's a bit soft--not much acidity--but it's not flat either. It's definitely mature, and I wouldn't expect it to get better at this stage, but I'd say it's good for immediate consumption--the kind of wine I love to find: better than average and cheaper than it ought to be. But, I should stop writing now. I might begin to wax Liracal. This wine normally retails for about $15.  Recommended.

[Update: Having bought a case shortly after writing this review and now consumed about half of the bottles, I can say that the quality has been quite variable (possibly storage issues). The best bottles have been as described above. One or two have seemed rather tired. One was virtually undrinkable. Still, not a bad deal at this price. The entire case cost only about $59.]

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