Saturday, May 9, 2009

Domaine du Joncier "Le Classique" Lirac 2006

Finally, a Rhone wine under £10 that I found to be really enjoyable.  This red comes from the appellation of Lirac in the southern Rhone.  On the label, the producer refers to it as a "Cru des Cotes du Rhone".  This doesn't mean that it belongs to the "Cotes du Rhone" appellation, but rather that it's an appellation in its own right, and resides in the Rhone region.  It's the same sort of deal as with Chateauneuf-du-Pape, among others.

It's a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault.  It's also mentioned on the label that the wine was made with "minimum filtration" and is unfined (although I didn't notice any sediment).

Just lifting the glass to your nose gives you an indication of what's to come.  The intense alcohol and fruit aromas are almost skull-piercing, and the concentration (and alcohol) levels are reflected in its thick, syrupy legs.

Flavour-wise, it's classic Rhone, although much more intense than the some of the dreck I have previously had the misfortune to try.  Savoury notes of dark fruit, herbs, and grilled meat are all present.  These are cliché tasting notes for Rhone wines (and Syrah in particular), but they are all indeed there.   This is all then followed by a long, gravelly, smoky finish.  Good stuff.  I'm going to buy more.

I'm giving this 4 out of 5.  I think I'm being a bit stingy with the ratings actually.  Because most of the stuff I buy is under £10, I'm used to stuff just being "good" rather than great, hence I give out a lot of 3's and recently, 3.5's.  However I don't think I give out enough 4's.  I'm kind of starting to realize that a 4 out of 5 (or even a 4.5) doesn't have to be a world beater.  A 5 though, should be.

Domaine du Joncier
"Le Classique" Lirac 2006
Lirac, Rhone, France
£6.99 (on offer)

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