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Domaine Lafond La Ferme Romaine Lirac 2015

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    Powerful and well-constituted wine. A strong ruby color with a purple tinge. It gives a complex nose of cinnamon, cooked fruits and morello cherry. After a rich and firm attack, the mouth expresses vanilla and peppery aromas which persist through the finish. It's a supple and rich wine with a very good length on the palate.

    Pair with red meats, games and cheeses.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaine Lafond

    Domaine Lafond

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    Domaine Lafond, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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    Pascal Lafond’s beautifully made wines from Tavel, Lirac and Chateauneuf-du-Pape are among the finest values the region has to offer. This 65-hectare family-run estate, located in the rose-only appellation of Tavel, produces what is widely considered (by Robert Parker, among others) to be the best Tavel available. Their Lirac Blanc – a blend of Grenache, Roussanne and Viognier – is a rich, vibrant Rhone white, with lovely honeyed and floral aromas. Their reds – including a Cotes-du-Rhone, a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and two different Liracs – are impressively concentrated, meaty and pure Grenache-based wines that are nonetheless balanced and well-structured. Today's cellar was built in 1970, with several extensions made over the years to accommodate the domaine's fairly robust production.

    Cotes du Rhone

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    Typically thought of as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhone actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.

    The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red varieties include most of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.

    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.

    CWC931823_15_2015 Item# 257484