Laurent and Julien Bréchet have long admired the potential of Lirac, in the Southern Rhône; when the owner of the Moulin des Chênes vineyard retired, they jumped at the chance to take over the vinegrowing there. Lirac lies to the west, across the river from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is a Rhône Cru, with a heritage of vinegrowing that is just as long as its easterly neighbour, although with mixed fortunes in comparison. Quality was varied in the past, but with the arrival of a younger generation of growers and more modern technology, the potential of Lirac has been realised. The Bréchet brothers have 16 hectares of vines in total there.
Conditions for Lirac are similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape: both are Mediterranean in climate with over 2500 hours of sunlight per year and a dry growing season that ensures consistently ripe, flavoursome wines. Both have predominantly stony soils (Lirac also has the large pebbles or galets roulés of its neighbour) supported by red clay underneath. The Mistral wind keeps the crop healthy and concentrates flavours in the berries.
2015 was characterised by a long and hot summer, which brought harvest forward and boosted potential alcohol levels in the grapes. Grapes were in excellent health throughout harvest, with well ripened stems and tannins, set to produce rich and powerful wines.
The berries were destemmed and crushed and then fermented in stainless steel vats at 25°C. The wine was kept on skins for 15 days with daily pumping over and rack and returns to ensure good colour and flavour extraction from the grapes. Part of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel and part in tank. After that, the wine was aged in underground concrete vats for 10 months before bottling.
45% Syrah, 40% Cinsault, 10% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre.
Deep crimson in colour, with notes of strawberries and blackberries. On the palate, the wine has a velvety mouthfeel and fresh acidity. Redcurrant flavours continue through the mouthwatering finish.
ABV = 14.0%.