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Domaine Grand Veneur Clos de Sixte Lirac 2007

Rhone Red Blends from Rhone, France
  • RP93
  • JS91
  • WE90
  • WS90
15% ABV
  • RP90
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • WS90
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Abundant licorice, graphite, black cherry, and blackberry characteristics are offered in a full-bodied, deep, fleshy style.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2007 Lirac Clos de Sixte is composed of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre. Abundant licorice, graphite, black cherry, and blackberry characteristics are offered in a full-bodied, deep, fleshy style. Liracs generally do not age as long as Chateauneuf du Papes, but this effort is capable of lasting 5-7 years where well-stored as it is a big, impressively endowed wine.

This is one of the most ambitious estates as well as burgeoning negociant operations in Chateauneuf du Pape. The two Jaume brothers, Sebastien and Christophe, continue to ratchet up the level of quality with a bevy of brilliant Chateauneuf du Papes and for bargain hunters, some top-flight offerings that include generic Cotes du Rhones as well as Cotes du Rhone-Villages. They also produce an impressive Gigondas. The estate wines, bottled under the name Domaine Grand Veneur, include two of the finest white Chateauneuf du Papes of the village (they own 5 acres of white grapes, a relatively large amount when only 3-4% of the appellation's production is in white wine).

JS 91
James Suckling
Rhone value. Fruity and spicy with lots of meat notes too. Full-bodied, with firm tannins and a chocolate and berry character. Long and powerful. Lots going on here. 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Intense gamy, woodsy, black olive aromas with notes of loganberry, sloe, blackberry and a hint of smoke. Powerful and full-bodied, richly textured with firm tannins but fresh and vibrant across the palate. Very flavorful with layers of black cherry-berry fruit, wild plums, savory meaty notes
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Dark and ripe, with plum and crushed currant fruit flavors gliding over chalky mineral, tobacco and floral notes. There's an alluring touch of spice on the velvety finish.
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Domaine Grand Veneur

Domaine Grand Veneur

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Domaine Grand Veneur, Rhone, France
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In 1320 Pope Jean XXII planted the first vines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but it was only in 1360 that the wines of the region first gained fame. Oddly, the wine that gave Châteauneuf-du-Pape its reputation was the Blanc and not the Rouge. The white wine was a favorite of Pope Innocent VI. Domaine Grand Veneur dates back to 1826 having been founded at that time by Mathieu Jaume. Since 1979, Alain Jaume has run the Domaine and now has the help of his two sons: Sébastien and Christophe.

A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and rosé wines, the Rhône is bisected by the river of the same name and split into two distinct sub-regions—north and south. While a handful of grape varieties span the entire length of the valley, there are significant differences between the two zones in climate and geography as well as the style and quantity of wines produced. The Northern Rhône, with its continental climate and steep hillside vineyards, is responsible for a mere 5% or less of the greater region’s total output. The Southern Rhône has a much more Mediterranean climate, the aggressive, chilly Mistral wind and plentiful fragrant wild herbs known collectively as ‘garrigue.’

In the Northern Rhône, the only permitted red variety is Syrah, which in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Hermitage, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie, it produces velvety black-fruit driven, savory, peppery red wines often with telltale notes of olive, game and smoke. Full-bodied, perfumed whites are made from Viognier in Condrieu and Château-Grillet, while elsewhere only Marsanne and Roussanne are used, with the former providing body and texture and the latter lending nervy acidity. The wines of the Southern Rhône are typically blends, with the reds often based on Grenache and balanced by Syrah, Mourvèdre, and an assortment of other varieties. All three northern white varieties are used here, as well as Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourbelenc and more. The best known sub-regions of the Southern Rhône are the reliable, wallet-friendly Côtes du Rhône and the esteemed Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Others include Gigondas, Vacqueyras and the rosé-only appellation Tavel.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

LSB202918_2007 Item# 202918