2015 Domaine Duseigneur "Antares" Lirac, 60% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre

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2015 Domaine Duseigneur "Antares" Lirac, 60% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre

First of all let's talk about Lirac. Most people know the Rhone Valley, even some of the important villages like Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and the appellation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape of course. But Lirac is the oldest wine producing area of the Rhone and turns out stellar reds, rose' and some whites.  It is actually located directly across the river of its famous counterpart, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and shares a similar terroir.  Those huge galets roulés, the rust and cream colored, smooth, rounded stones ranging in size from a large tomato to a football, are spread throughout the vineyards. The stones retain heat during the day and release it at night which helps ripen the grapes. The stones can also serve as a protective layer to help retain moisture in the soil during the dry summer months. 

Typical Southern Rhone red varieties of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault dominate the blends with the style of Lirac often resembling a soft Côtes du Rhône-Villages.  The more ambitious wines are often compared to Châteauneuf-du-Pape but at half the price. Rosé Lirac is usually similar to those full bodied wines from neighboring Tavel.

Domaine Duseigneur is a small family wine producer in Lirac run by the brothers Frederic and Bernard and a famous French sommelier, Philippe Faure-Brac.  The brothers see themselves more as farmers than a winemakers, believing that the most important thing is what happens in the vineyard. Since 1997 the estate has been meeting the requirements of organic farming. Wanting to take this concept even further the Duseigneur brothers fully embraced biodynamic farming in 2004. 

The Antarès is an old vine blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre vinified separately after 3 to 4 weeks of maceration in concrete tanks. The nose has a touch of barnyard with dark fruit and a little spice.  The lack of oak allows for pure expression of the fruit on the palate and one of those wines that keeps revealing something new in every sip.