Domaine des Carabiniers, Appellation Controlée Lirac, Lirac 2010 (Red)
Tasting Notes : Raspberries, slightly smoked liquorice, truffles, spices and garrigue – all on the nose. Liquorice and nod to thyme on the palate. Heady, powerful, fiery. Deep ruby red color. Benefits from decanting. If you’ve never tried a Lirac, do. It’s surprisingly easy to drink and not overpowering. The liquorice notes lend a “sweetness” though by all means this is not a sweet wine. Can keep up to 8 years for good vintages (’09, ’10). 13% alc. EcoCert – NOP – BioSuisse.
Production Notes : Vines are an average 32 years old with grape varietals of: 50% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, 25% Syrah. His acreage in the Lirac appellation, which is north of Avignon, on the Right Bank of the Rhône, These vineyards benefit from an exceptionally suitable climate and terroir for the three planted varietals. High temperature fermenting 90°F (32°C) of natural yeasts. The harvest is brought in by night to avoid use of SO2 and oxidation. Maceration is under the pomace and can last up to two weeks. This allows for the delicate extraction of tannins.
Pair With : This powerful, round elegant, barrel-matured red pairs harmoniously with meats, cheeses, cold cuts and for the gastronomes – game, cooked pork, sausages esp. blood sausage.
“After all, great wines can only be produced by working with nature, not struggling against it.” — Christian Leperchois
Domaine des Carabiniers gets its name, and its emblem of a horse with an olive branch in its mouth, from Christian Leperchois’ great-grandparents who first set up their winery in what was then the stables. The vineyards stretch over 40 ha. across the right bank of the RhôneRiver. Several appellations are included within the property: Tavel, Côtes du Rhône, Lirac and Vin de Pays d’Oc.
Organic vineyard management and grapevine farming is more than a philosophy for Leperchois, it is a way of life. His vineyards have been under organic cultivation, which he likes to call “natural cultivation” since 1997. He cites examples of soil depletion on highly commercialized vineyards where nothing is retained by the grape, save its genetic varietal origins. To make good wines, you must give your grapes the best of all possible worlds – and for Leperchois this is organic cultivation, going in the direction, even, of biodynamism since 2011.
Pliocene sand and pebbles are what characterize the terroir on his Appellation Lirac Controlée vineyards and what account for the wine’s “smoked” liquorice and tobacco notes. The fifteen ha. on the Côtes du Rhône vineyards have good groundwater sources which brings out the grapes’ fruity aromas and character and also give the wine its length on the palate.
On his 5 ha. parcel in the Appellation Controlée Tavel, the fields of limestone which were once garrigue scrubland, allow for only low yields but this is what gives this classic and original French rosé wine its long finish and aromatic depth.
Domaine des Carabiniers – Roquemaure, France carabiniers-organic-wine.com