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02 January 2006

Love My Lirac

After wading through a few overpriced (Reserve!), mediocre (oak-aged!!) wines over the holiday weekend, I contemplated a bottle of Lirac for Sunday's mini smorgasbord.  I was not familiar with the producer (Château de Ségriès); nor was I familiar with the importer (Kysela).  Additionally, the bottle was bedecked with a few wine wordbites:

  • Vigneron Independant
  • Cuvée Réservée
  • Non Filtré

Color me jaded, but when I encounter bottles tossing out these informational tidbits on the front of the label, I'm semi-frequently underwhelmed by what's inside.  On the bright side, I've had a bit of luck with 2001 Rhône valley reds.  Yes, they may be coming to the end of their bottle life, but some still have a little something left in the tank.  I decided to roll the dice and try my luck with Lirac.

Lirac is historically a rosé-producing appellation in France's Rhône valley.  It's situated to the north of Tavel (also famous for rosé), and to the southwest of Chateauneuf-du-Pape (made famous by popes & New York MCs).  One interesting historical note is that, in the 18th Century, the river port of Roquemaure, now part of the Lirac Appellation, regularly shipped wine to both England and Holland.  At the time it was actually more important to the world of wine than its neighbor across the river, Chat-du-Pape.

LiraclanzacThe Skinny
Château de Ségriès Lirac AOC 2001 ($17)

  • A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, 5% Mourvèdre and 5% Carignan [13.5% alcohol]
  • Medium ruby in color fading to an orange-copper rim
  • Delicate scents of orange, savory herbs, licorice, leather and lavender
  • Medium-bodied with a slightly earthy/chalky mouthfeel.  Flavors of orange marmelade and red cherry; accented by earth and leather notes.  The finish is lenghty, and slightly hot - but quite pleasant

***.5 (3.5 stars out of 5)

This wine does seem to be approaching the tail end of its life.  Yet Ch. de Ségriès was still enjoyable and flexible with a variety of flavors (white bean puree, onion crostini, kielbasa).  the current vintage (2003) has garnered some Parker (and Dias Blue) points, and thus I'm curious to compare the 2001 and 2003 versions of this lovely Lirac.  Drop a comment if you've tried any recent vintage of this wine.


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I have always loved Lirac wine. It is very hard to find here in the USA and I have only seen it from 2 producers. When I travel to Paris I always get a bottle of good Lirac to keep in my room. I have seen it made by Domaine La Fond and Segries. If you are looking for other suppliers, try


Just opened a bottle of the 2007. I like Segries (although I share your thoughts about "red flags" on the label) and in a good vintage, a Lirac can easily be mistaken for a C. de P. And 2007 was a VERY good vintage throughout the southern Rhone. Anyway, it's still a little young, but it opened up nicely after 2-3 hours in the air. I'll be keeping another couple of bottles in the cellar for a few years.

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