Great Under $15 Wine Value
Purchase after purchase plus availability in all areas of the world, I believe the wines of the Southern Rhone are still offering the best bang for the buck no matter where you purchase your wines from. In that Under $15 price range, in the surrounding areas of Chateauneuf Du Pape as in Cotes Du Rhone, Rasteau, and in today’s case LIRACm you get a GSM blend of great quality with more approachable drinking wines than if you spent $40 on a Chateauneuf du Pape.
The History of Domaine Maby in Tavel
The Maby family have cultivated vines in Tavel since the 19th century when their principal activity was shoe-making. August Maby was the first to earn their living from wine which was fermented and aged in the shoe workshop. His son, Auguste commenced bottling of the wines in 1950. Land was later purchased in Lirac, Côtes du Rhône and Vin de Pays designations.
The estate is now run by Richard Maby (in the Photo Above) who took over from his father, Roger after a career in finance in Paris. The vineyards now total 60 ha (147 acres) including 31 ha in Lirac and 21ha in Tavel.
Interesting note about Tavel which is where the Domaine is physically located. Tavel is the only CRU in the country of France that is designated just to Rose Production. Their famous Rhone Roses spend extra time macerating on the red skins which gives you the identifiable dark ruby colored Rose wines which I personally love so much.
2014 Domaine Maby “La Fermade” Lirac Rouge
The terroir of Lirac is rocky with a high sand content. The wines are fermented in stainless and concrete. Domaine Maby cultivates their land with a great respect for their environment. They also practice 100% Sustainable Farming. Lirac shares the same soils studded with rounded pebbles as Chateauneuf Du Pape. These rounded pebbles were literally ripped out of the Alps by the river Rhône in prehistoric times, but in today’s calmer environment they store up heat during the daytime and gently release it at night, contributing towards bringing thee grapes to perfect maturity and ripeness
La Fermade is comprised of mostly Grenache Noir with 10% each of Syrah and Mourvedre. The grapes are grown on that same sandy and rounded pebbles soil which produces the perfect ripeness and the 2014 has 14.5% ABV. What I love most, is the wine is aged in Concrete Tanks before bottling so no Oak Treatment doesn’t alter the flavor profile of this classic Southern Rhone Terrior. Let’s review.
The wine needed a solid 1 hour aeration and slight chill before I was able to pick up the nuances. The 2014 I would guesstimate is right at the peak of drinking and would maybe make it one more year max. The color was a dark garnet red with slight variation on the fringe. On the nose, Smoke, Garrigue (Shrubs, Herbs, Vegetation in the Mediterranean) Framboise, cherry and plums with black pepper spice. On the palate a rich mouthfeel of dark cassis and raspberry, hints of thyme, no rough edges leading to a sweet fruited, cinnamon spiced. lip smacking ending. The wine is slightly hot in the alcohol for my palate but it certainly provided an easy drinking experience. A solid 88 point wine that can provide a great everyday red wine by itself or with a meal.
Wines like this can even be found on many websites or in retailers in clearance aisles. Most Americans wouldn’t even go near something that said “Lirac” on the label . This is the 2014 but I see many internet sites are selling the 2016 Domaine Maby as well. If not that Domaine, keep searching wherever you purchase wines for these Southern Rhone wines from not only Lirac, Nimes, Rasteau, Cotes Du Rhone but all over that region of France and I assure you that you will be amazed what you find for even $10 per bottle that will provide pleasure. I am convinced that Southern Rhone and Southern France wines are providing the best bang for the buck wines in 2019/2020. I am all about the quality to price ratio. Merci!
Grape-fully yours, Larry
The Stones Of Lirac