LVT 2017 rosé 2016 wh 2017 r Trying to improve quality, 2014 and 2017 Lirac rosé Vieilles Vignes ***(*) wines, and the Lirac Tradition blanc a shapely ***(*) wine in 2016. The 2017 Lirac Arcane red was an entertaining ***(*) wine
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh One of the better names at Lirac, with good packing in the half Syrah, half Grenache red. The estate changed ownership and generation in 2017, having been run by Christophe Valat, the half brother of long-term family owner Robert Fuget, who also owned Château Saint-Maurice at Laudun.
Saskia and Maurice are both ex-lawyers who used to live and work in Luxembourg. He is Alsacien, Saskia’s mum is Dutch, and lived in Roquemaure, with a small holding at Château Boucarut. In 2017 vineyards that historically formed part of Boucarut were put up for sale, and the two lawyers took their chance to buy them and convert the vineyards to organic. It’s an old property with a chapel, dating from 1758. Concerts have been held there for the past 20 years, while the Château has been restored. There are now 19 hectares, mainly Lirac. Beyond the Lirac, there is a Coteaux du Pont de Gard, along with an IGP Pays d’Oc.
The vineyard is on the sandy soils near Antoine Verda's old, reputed vineyard. The 2017 Lirac Lucas blanc was a soft, rounded ***(*) wine, while the 2017 Lirac Olympe rosé was Tavel-esque, a good dining **** wine. The first vintage of the Lirac red Ulysse was a **** wine of character, highly commendable for a first go. The Lirac Marius 2018 red was an elegant, tinkly, clear ***(*) wine, a good result from a tricky vintage
LVT 2012 rosé 2011 r 2011 wh Good, very drinkable rosés, some decent reds, and whites can be excellent, from very suitable draining soils
LVT 2016 rosé 2016 r 2018 wh Son Nicolas, in his 30s, is an oenologue. Gradual rise in quality, clear tasting Lirac rosé and punchy red Lirac Quatuor, the last-named an intricate connoisseur's **** wine in both 2015 and 2016, with good contributions from its Cinsault and Mourvèdre. The 2016 Lirac Magnolia white was a most pleasurable **** wine, while the Lirac Eglantine rosé is a full-bodied, table wine, around the ***(*) mark usually
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2019 rosé Flourishing, very drinkable wines. The lesser wines have caught up the main Baron Louis, which from 2010 has been made as Lirac, and are good value, also w.o.w., as in the case of the 2014 Lirac red. The Baron Louis is a wine that takes its time, is classically structured, its tannins notably refined in a **** vintage such as 2016. Very good, light-touch whites as well, including an exceptional Lirac blanc (previously Côtes du Rhône), the Madame la Comtesse de Montfaucon, that is composed of Clairette blanche and rose from 19th century vines: the 2016 of that was a classy, true ****(*) wine, the 2017 also ****(*). Another top grade white was the 2018 Lirac Comtesse Madeleine (Marsanne, Clairette, Grenache blanc, Picpoul), a ****(*) wine of notable finesse given the context of the hot summer. By the mid-2010s, there was more Lirac and less Côtes du Rhône
LVT 2018 rosé 2016 r 2008 wh Long-established, large estate at Lirac, the heart of the appellation. Bought by Henri de Lanzac in 1995. The good red Côtes du Rhône Clos de l'Hermitage comes from the vineyard near Avignon of Jean Alesi, the Formula 1 racing driver. The Tavel was good in 2014, and a very good ****(*) in 2015, also **** in 2018.
LVT 2019 wh 2018 r 2015 rosé Modest fare, has never taken off in all the decades I have known it. The vineyards are well situated; the outcome should be better. A hint of progress came with the Lirac Via Secreta white in 2019, which was a pleasing, rounded ***(*) wine. The Lirac red Via Secreta is based on 40% Mourvèdre, and has improved, the 2017 a genuine **** wine, while the 2018 Via Secreta was a steady *** wine. Here's hoping.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2017 rosé Competent, recently improving wines from the very large Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate, which owns over 20 hectares of Lirac on the galet stone plateau at Roquemaure, something of an extension of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape soils. A little mechanical at times, but the Lirac 2014, 2015 and 2016 reds were good **** wines, the 2015 and 2016 both full of gusto, while the ***(*) 2018 red was a w.o.w. wine. The white is modern, well-made, often ***(*)
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2012 rosé From the Château de la Gardine at Châteauneuf-du-Pape stable, made by Eve Brunel. High quality whites, very drinkable, the 2017 and 2018 Lirac blancs both pedigree, delightful ****(*) wines, with the 2019 a **** w.o.w. wine. The 2019 Lirac Confidentielle blanc, all Clairette in oak, was a cracking, complex ****(*) wine. Quality also includes the Côtes du Rhône, whose 2016 red was a squeezy ***(*) wine. In the good vintage of 2019, both Côtes du Rhône red and white were a little ordinary, *** wines, however.
The Lirac red accentuates cool fruit, the 2014 a ***(*) w.o.w. wine, although the 2018, a **** wine, held inner strength and good persistence. The Lirac Confidentielle red, 33% each Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre from an interesting 300 metre high vineyard at St Geniès-de-Comolas, is oaked, within reason; the 2015 was a **** wine, the 2018 a plnging ****(*) wine, one to allow time. The Lirac Palmes red is zero added SO2 wine, the 2015 a wholesome, genuine ***(*), the 2016 ****
LVT 2016 r Julien, not from a wine background, started in 2014 with 2.7 hectares of old vines, all planted in 1966, based on Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan and Mourvèdre that he bought from a Co-operateur from the Cave du Cru Lirac. The vineyard had not been worked with weedkillers. Julien’s main job is at the biodynamic Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine de la Vieille Julienne. He has no viticole or agricultural background, but always wanted to work on the land. These are small scale [up to 6,000 bottles], no chemical use, hand harvested, unfiltered wines that are sold locally. The 2016 Lirac red gave a genuine, local portrait, and was a wholesome **** wine
LVT 2018 rosé 2011 wh 2011 r Good, lively wines, can be inconsistent
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2017 rosé Fair; used to be a wacky, enterprising couple here, refugees from Algeria. The best recent wine by some way was the 2016 **** Lirac Cuvée Signature red, while the 2017 Lirac blanc, admittedly showing its low temperature fermentation in its style of tropical fruits, was a bouncy ***(*) wine, with the 2018 Lirac blanc a well made, genuine **** wine
LVT 2016 r This is a domaine on the up. There has been a soaked, modern, plush style on the Lirac reds, but 2016 marked a step forward in terms of style and poise. The Lirac Hommage red was an ample, impressively long ****(*) wine, the Dedicace Lirac red a shapely, enjoyable **** wine. There was also a buzzy *** 2015 Côtes du Rhône red
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh Domaine name changed in 2011, seeking a higher profile. The Lirac red, based on 1950s Grenache, has been so-so recently. Also makes authentic, organic Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is based at Roquemaure, opposite the Châteauneuf vineyards. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Ancien Domaine des Pontifes red was a ****, possessing a genuine Grenache heartbeat, while the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Ancien Domaine des Pontifes Elise white was a sturdy, natural, honest **** wine.
LVT 2015 wh 2010 r 2012 rosé Also make good Tavel and a beau Côtes du Rhône white. The domaine is converting to organic.
LVT 2018 r This was initally a joint venture between two good estates at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Marcoux and Roncière. The vineyard was bought in 2002, and the first wine was 2003. The vineyard has been organic since 2007, officially so from 2010. There are 8 hectares by surface, with tired Grenache being replaced in 2 ha lots, with the soils left six years to regenerate. The blend has therefore changed from 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% each Mourvèdre, Carignan to 40% Syrah, 40% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache. The wine is solid, more recently on style over power to the point of being polished up. The 2016 is a classy ****(*) wine, well worth seeking out; at just over one-third of the price of the Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it's VALUE also. It was called Domaine La Lorentine until the late 2000s, then changed to Domaine de Marcoux, the wine called La Lorentine.
LVT 2007 r Biodynamic wines. Purity sought over power.
LVT 2019 rosé 2018 red 2019 wh An organic domaine since 1997, now biodynamic. STGT qualities. The wines always have character, and it's an address for the enthusiasts who want to think about what they are drinking. The Côtes du Rhône Lunar Apogé red is proper naked wine, full of vim, while the 2015 Lirac red was a **** Thinker's wine. I note that the quantity of Lirac red has shot up from 40,000 to 75,000 bottles, and I feel that may have had a bearing on the *** 2018. The Lirac white from 2013 includes Viognier; it is always a wine of character, a regular **** performer, suited to la table. There is a good, grounded Tavel fermented at 21°C to allow the wild yeasts full play.
LVT 2018 r One of the Assemat family's domaines at Roquemaure. The Lirac Reserve Syrah is in reality 50% Syrah, the rest 40% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre; the 2016 was fair, a *** wine
LVT 2019 r The Réserve Vieilles Vignes red comes from Grenache-Syrah, with Mourvèdre vineyard planted in 1970 by the cavalier Jean-Claude Assémat, a pied noir émigré from Algeria in the 1960s. The soils are galet covered, at Roquemaure. The 2019 from that very good vintage was a well juiced, enjoyable ***(*) wine
LVT 2019 rosé 2018 r 2019 wh This is an organic, biodynamic domaine, started in the early 2010s, and a really good Lirac address. The three Lirac reds hit a good standard, and this is a new name to note. Two of the Lirac reds, the Pierre de Josette (95%) and the Pradau (90%) are mainly Syrah, the Canto Bruno half Grenache, half Mourvèdre, and a **** wine in 2016; the 2015 Pierre de Josette was a **** wine with good heart, the 2016 very genuine ****(*) wine, and the 2018 ****, when the vintage heat did not dominate, which was a good achievement.
The wines are made in the old Domaine Duseigneur cellar. A recent addition has been a 2,000 bottle Lirac Pradau blanc, based on Bourboulenc, so that holds interest, the 2017 a ***(*) wine. Both the Laudun Maestral wines – the white 100% Clairette – are good, the 2014 white a healthy **** wine, the 2016 Maestral red a **** wine. Since 2015 there has been a 1,600 bottle Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, 100% 1970s Gobelet trained Syrah, called Espirito - the 2015 was commendably fresh, a **** wine. That 0.4 hectare was supplemented by a further 0.3 hectare of 1990s Syrah on Palestor, also in the northern sector, from 2018. At the lower end of the scale, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Le Regalant red was a **** wine of character.
LVT 2018 r 2008 rosé From Alain Jaume of Grand Veneur at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A leading Lirac - usually good, consistent quality, a muscular style, with oak influences, a sense of cellar working can be present. The vineyard is organic.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2019 rosé After organic debuts, a biodynamic domaine. Good quality, interesting wines, the Lirac Le Blanc white has become a Vin de France, has character, bears oxidative notions, but its composition isn't oxidised. It is now raised part in jar, part in cask, and is very much a table wine. The Lirac Les Muses is 90% Mourvèdre (1975-77, mid-1990s); the 2014 was an exciting **** wine, the ****(*) 2015 full of gusto, highly recommended. The other two 2015 Lirac reds, Le Classique and Le Gourmand were both **** wines. All reds are underground concrete vat raised. The 2018 harvest was so small - 7 hl/ha - that Marine was forced to buy organic harvest from Costières de Nîmes to issue what is usually her Côtes du Rhône red, which was therefore Vin de France, a ***(*) with very likeable fruit, nevertheless.
LVT 2014 r Gérald is a full-time oenologue working with local domaines. On his own account, he works vineyards inherited from his father in Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, plus a small plot from the plateau at Lirac. Quality is improving, and the 2014 La Vigne d'Yvon Lirac red was ***(*) wine.
LVT 2007 r Early 2000s start-up, decent body in the classic red Lirac
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh A domaine of some potential. Created in 1994, 23 hectares. Son Romain has been on the domaine since 2011. Vineyards in Rochefort-du-Gard, Saze and for the Lirac, Saint Laurent des Arbres. 20% bottled. The 2014 Lirac reds were both ***(*) wines, while the 2016 Lirac Elie red was a **** wine, as was the 2016 Lirac very old vine Grenache Marie, where easing back of the oak would help.
LVT 2012 r Bottled by a merchant at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is made by full-time oenologue Gérald Lafont of Domaine d’Arbousset at Lirac
LVT 2012 wh 2012 rosé 2011 r Fascinating story. Denis and wife Nathalie are both from Roquemaure. His father was a plumber, her parents were agricole-viticole. Denis Daurelle’s main job is selling vats and presses, a company he set up in 2004. It sells “anything from the reception of the harvest until the equipment needed for bottling.” He is well involved in avant garde concrete vats from Padua in Italy, sold to leading Bordeaux châteaux such as Prieuré-Lichine, Chapoutier in the northern Rhône and Julien Barrot at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for instance. Domaine started in 2007, when he bought 5.5 hectares of the old Antoine Verda estate. 2007 was vinified chez Verda, the 2008 in his own small, near-garage cellar.
LVT 2018 r 2019 rosé 2019 wh Improvement, even if a bit technical. Sound white Lirac, a step up recently, as well as in the Lirac reds, with the 2014 Tradition and 2014 Saint Valentin both ***(*) wines, the Tradition w.o.w. The Lirac Terra Ancestra red is new oaked, but that works on half Syrah, half Mourvèdre, the combination used in 2016 for a **** wine. Some of the 2015 red Côtes du Rhônes such as Bio and 1737 were below par, but the 2015 Lirac Saint Valentin red was once more a ***(*) wine. The Lirac white is good quality, often ***(*), and the 2017 STGT
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2019 rosé Isabelle Boulaire's family previously sent crop to the Cave Co-operative of Saint-Laurent. She is the 12th generation of vignerons. The first red in bottle (limited amount bottled) was 2009, with a rosé that is full of character and body added in 2011 - it is a regulasr **** performer, really suited to Mediterranean, colourful cuisine. Greater finesse and precision came through after 2011, and a white was added in 2016. A lighter red for earlier drinking called Lirac Coeur des Arômes red was recently introduced, the 2018 an STGT **** wine. There's a real hand-made feel here - it's a very good address.
LVT 2018 wh 2018 r 25 hectare domaine, ex Tour des Chênes, which was started in the 1960s by Pieds Noirs from Algeria. It was taken over by the Brechet family of Château de Vaudieu at Châteauneuf-du-Pape in late 2011. There has been improvement, with soft, oaked red wine, occasionally rather flashy  and good, stylish whites, the white **** in 2016, ****(*) in 2017, a most marked step forward for the latter, which is handled in used 600-litre oak casks, the harvest taken from a fresh, sandy, forest-lined vineyard at Saint Laurent des Arbres
LVT 2014 r 2012 rosé 2012 wh Variable reds. Since 2012 a new pneumatic press has helped white and rosé quality. Two domaines come under this name - Domaine des Garrigues and Domaine des Causses & Saint Eynes, with the old Castel Oualou title still used as well under its own right
LVT 2016 r The Boudinauds have been involved in the development of branded wines such as Fat Bastard and Le Freak. There are vineyards as well, mainly Côtes du Rhône on the west bank Gard département. The Lirac red, a merchant wine, is relatively recent.