CRU DEPUIS Sober, inconspicuous luxury SYNDICAT DE L AOC LIRAC - CHEMIN DES CHÊNES LIRAC - TÉL /

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1 Sober, inconspicuous luxury P R E S S K I T

2 The secret wine from the right side of Rhône Contents I NTRODUCTION THE SECRET WINE FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF RHÔNE H ISTORY & HERITAGE LIRAC AND THE «CÔTES DU RHÔNE» THE LIRAC TERROIR WAS ALREADY FAMOUS IN THE 16TH CENTURY L IRAC, ICONIC TERROIR LIRAC, AN ICONIC TERROIR IN THE CÔTES DU RHÔNE The Lirac AOC is located 15 kilometres northwest of Avignon, on the right bank of the Rhône river, in the Gard département. It sits in an area that is pure Mediterranean, bathed in light and exposed to the Mistral wind. The 715 hectares under production extend over 4 districts, including Saint Laurent des Arbres and Roquemaure, the birthplace of the Côtes du Rhône. Lirac s three terroirs have been producing very fragrant wines since ancient times. Among the sixteen Rhône Valley AOCs - known as Crus - the wines of Lirac are certainly among the most inconspicuous; no doubt this is due to the small size of The Lirac appellation Became a Cru wine in hectares under production Average production: 20,000 hl 83% red wines 5 cooperatives 14 négociants 55 private wineries 57% export sales A CONCENTRATED, EXPRESSIVE WINE, THE RESULT OF CLIMATE AND TERROIR the vineyard area as well as its geographical location on 08 THE INFLUENCE OF THE TERROIRS THE 3 SOIL TYPES IN LIRAC, THE GUARANTEE OF PRICELESS BLENDS PERFECT INTERACTION BETWEEN GRAPE VARIETIES AND TERROIRS, MULTI-FACETED LIRAC WINES the right bank of the Rhône, in a peaceful haven, away from the main roads leading to the South of France L IRAC GRAPE VARIETIES THE MAIN GRAPE VARIETIES RED LIRAC, THE RHÔNE VALLEY S MOST MEDITERRANEAN RED WINE A PROACTIVE APPROACH THE MEN AND WOMEN OF LIRAC, HUMILITY, PASSION AND COMMITMENT THE NEW LIRAC LOGO : THE REFLECTION OF THE IMAGE OF ITS WINES THE NEW OFFICIAL LIRAC BOTTLE, SYMBOL OF A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO QUALITY L IRAC WINE AND FOOD PAIRINGS LIRAC WINE TASTING, COMBINING POWER AND ELEGANCE FOOD PAIRING WITH LIRAC WINES, CLASSIC PAIRINGS WITH WORLD CUISINE The Lirac vineyards sit opposite those of Châteauneuf du Pape, with which they share some geological features. 03

3 Château de Saint Laurent des Arbres Lirac and the Côte du Rhône The Lirac terroir was already famous in the 16th century Both nature and history have made the Lirac wine area one of the most important in the Côtes du Rhône. In the 16th century, Lirac wines, appreciated for their quality and richness, were served at the tables of the great royal courts in France and abroad. These wines were also highly sought after by wine connoisseurs among the aristocracy and the Paris haute bourgeoisie. The Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres district, encased within the appellation area, still bears the traces of this glorious past: former enclave of the diocese of Avignon, it was home to the bishops vineyard. This vineyard, surrounding the village château, easily recognizable with its watchtower dungeon, produced enough wine to despatch a tithe of five vessels of red wine, from the tank tap, from the other side of the river. History Both nature and history have made the Lirac wine area one of the most important in the Côtes du Rhône. In fact, Lirac wines have been prestigious since the 16th century, but many facts attest to the existence of vineyards in the area since the time of the Roman occupation. The wine merchants of the time soon realized that they needed to protect the origin of this production to prevent the name being usurped. The magistrates of Roquemaure (another district also located in the AOC area and, at the time, a major river port from which wine was shipped to distant lands), then began to authenticate Lirac wines by branding the barrels with the letters C.D.R, standing for Côte du Rhône. Lirac wine is at the origin of the Côte, and more broadly the Côtes du Rhône. From Côte du Rhône to A.O.C. The story of a Count Lirac s destiny was partly shaped by Count Henri de Régis de Gatimel. His family inherited Château de Ségriès, still standing today in the appellation area. In 1925, the Count decided to replant the vineyards that had existed on the estate since Roman times. In the 30 s, he waged another battle: this one to obtain Appellation d Origine Contrôlée (A.O.C.) status for the area. Like other appellations created at the time, it was to take the name of the village in the heart of the production area, in this case, Lirac. The Count won his battle just after the end of the Second World War. The appellation received legal recognition from the Court of Uzès on 11 October Final recognition came following two years study of the terroirs and the type of wines produced, when I.N.A.O. experts completed the drawing up of the appellation s boundaries. This work led to the recognition of the Lirac A.O.C. by decree of 14 October It signalled the arrival of a new appellation and was the first cru in the Côtes du Rhône to produce red, rosé and white wines. Keep La Sainte Baume Côtes du Rhône barrels Lirac, the first Côtes du Rhône appellation wine to produce wine in the three colours: red, rosé and white. Today annual production is around 20,000hl. 04 H ISTORY & HERITAGE H ISTORY & HERITAGE 05

4 Lirac, an iconic Côtes du Rhône terroir since 1947 For almost sixty five years, the terroir of Lirac has been an AOC. Like other appellations, such as Châteauneuf du Pape or Gigondas, the specific, typical characteristics of Lirac wines were recognized very early on, first by the producers themselves and the market, then by the INAO (the French National Institute for Appellations of Origin). Lirac vineyards are laid out in terraces, on hillsides found in four districts on the right bank of the Rhône, amid garrigue scrubland, Mistral wind and arid land bathed in bright sunlight. The wines personality is due, in part, to this location. The skilful work of the men and women of Lirac brings out the expression and typical characteristics of the wine. An exceptional location The lay of the land in Lirac is unique; the terraces and limestone hills form a kind of headland jutting towards Avignon, at the end of which sit the Lirac vineyards. The Lirac appellation, amid garrigue, Mistral wind and arid land bathed in the bright sunlight of the south of France. A concentrated, expressive wine, the result of climate and terroir The climate here is mediterranean. The Lirac wine region enjoys an exceptional amount of sunshine - 2,700 hours per year. The average annual temperature is around 14 C. Rainfall is low, not exceeding 700 mm/yr, but is heavier in spring, enabling the soil to build vital water supplies to cope with the very dry summers. Lirac s location is exposed to the Mistral; this very dry north wind clears the sky and ensures the grapes are healthy before the harvest. The Mistral blows on around 180 days per year. Affected by long, dry periods, Lirac s climate naturally restrains the vine s production. As a result, the grapes possess great concentration of minerals, sugars and other natural wine components such as tannin and acids. Average yield is 35 hl/ha. 06 L IRAC, ICONIC TERROIR L IRAC, ICONIC TERROIR 07

5 The 3 soil types in Lirac The guarantee of priceless blends With 3 types of soil in its appellation area, Lirac is able to produce a complete range of wines, modelled after its winemakers. Some producers prefer powerful, well built wines which come mainly from alluvial terraces; others favour the minerality and freshness derived from limestone soil. The blending of wines from these different terroirs provides a rich, complex style, a combination of structure and elegance. 3 types of soil 1. Limestone scree To the west of the Lirac appellation area, the vineyards are planted on scree soils, resulting from the erosion of Cretaceous limestone hills, which cover the slopes and are especially good for growing vines. Wines from this family of soils are often characterized by their minerality and freshness. 2. High alluvial terrace of the Rhone Traces of an ancient terrace deposited by the Rhone in the early Quaternary Period can be found mainly in Lirac and Saint- Laurent-des-Arbres. The nature of the terrace, also found on Châteauneuf du Pape on the opposite bank of the Rhone, is very typical. Having long been subject to sharp climatic variations, it is composed of quartzite pebbles (100% silica) from the centre of the Alps, rolled smooth by the river and deposited over large areas. These pebbles are mixed in with red sandy clay. This soil creates powerful wines, with a solid, tannic architecture and great ageing potential. The reds are distinctive for their spices and ripe dark fruit style (black cherry, blackcurrant, blueberry). At the centre The outer edges of the area The terraced slopes 3. Late Tertiary Period sands Fluvial sands from the Pliocene epoch (late Tertiary) fill the spaces between the limestone hills and very often form the support of the ancient Quaternary terrace (Saint-Genies-de-Comolas, Saint- Laurent-des-Arbres). Subject to erosion, this terrace covered the sandy slopes of the hills with pebbles and gravel. This combination (pebbles, gravel and sand) creates very fine red wines with an elegant tannic weave, characterized by a range of red fruit aromas. Perfect interaction between grape varieties and terroirs, Multi-faceted Lirac wines Some grape varieties are more suitable for limestone soils with a high ph; others prefer sandy textures with a lower ph. This diversity enables winemakers to create wines that reflect their own personalities, respecting the terroir from which the grapes come. The blending of the grape varieties, which they select, enables them to shape the style of their Lirac and give it a personal touch. The Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault grape varieties are used in red Lirac wines; they make their home and grow very well on the appellation s clay plateaus, made up of large round pebbles. The grape varieties Due to the diversity of Lirac soil, many grape varieties thrive here, each finding its ideal conditions. Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Roussanne For the rosés, the Grenache Noir, Syrah and Cinsault prefer the appellation s lighter, sandy terrains from which they draw their smoothness and freshness. The diversity of the white grape varieties that go into white Lirac wines is remarkable: Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Roussane, to which Picpoul, Marsanne and even Viognier can also blended. They are mainly planted in dry garrigue soils which give them elegance, finesse and aromatic complexity. THE INFLUENCE OF THE TERROIRS THE INFLUENCE OF THE TERROIRS 08 09

6 red & rosé The main red and rosé grape varieties Grenache Noir Finesse and opulence This great southern Rhone grape variety constitutes the base of red and rosés wines from the south. It is resistant to wind and dry conditions. Its aromatic potential and its well-balanced tannins make it an essential variety for the production of red and rosé wines. It produces full, rich wines that also possess a great deal of finesse and balance. It also imparts superb aromas of ripe black cherry, liquorice, spices, dark fruit and cocoa. Syrah Structure, good acidity, aromas The Syrah appreciates mild, less extreme climate conditions for example those where it is more sheltered from the wind. Very expressive, it produces wines possessing a wealth of aromas: red fruit, violet, leather, blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries, etc. It also gives the wines good depth of colour and nice tannic structure. Its tannins are dense but finely woven. Mourvèdre Tannic power, ageing potential Mourvèdre requires considerable warmth and light in order to ripen fully. It is most often planted along coastal areas and, for Lirac, in hot inland areas. Blended with other grape varieties, it provides contrast to the traditional southern grape varieties (Grenache, Cinsault). It imparts tannic intensity to older Lirac wines as well as lovely animal or undergrowth notes, along with truffle, very ripe fruit and liquorice aromas. Cinsault Elegance and fruit This grape variety is appreciated for its finesse and elegance. Typically blended with Grenache and Syrah, it brings a great wealth of aromas (redcurrant, wild strawberry, pomegranate) and lovely smoothness. It is particularly suitable for rosé wines. white Grenache Blanc Length and smoothness This is the grape variety of the Mediterranean vineyards, subjected to dry summers and the Mistral wind. Like the Grenache Noir for the red wines, it produces fairly full, low acidity, smooth white wines with a long finish, characteristics sought by the wine-growers. It possesses medium aromatic richness and has to be blended with more aromatic grape varieties, such as Clairette or Viognier. Bourboulenc Freshness and balance Requiring considerable warmth, this grape variety is restricted to dry, warm, early-ripening areas. It has a low potential alcohol but good aromatic potential. In blends, it adds freshness, balance and length, as well as very typical floral and fruity notes: broom and exotic fruit. It gives the wines a golden hue which intensifies over time. Clairette Fruit and finesse A native of the South of France, this grape variety likes deep, clayey, stony soils. Clairette produces very fragrant, fruity (apple, grapefruit) and floral (white flowers) wines of great finesse, which can be enjoyed when young. La Roussanne Elegance and aromatic complexity This variety, very susceptible to disease, originates in the northern Rhône Valley and suits poor, stony, well exposed, soils. It provides fine, elegant wines with nice acid structure and boasting rich aromas of apricot, honey and hawthorn mingled with subtle hints of coffee and narcissus. This noble grape variety of strong character produces wines for aging. Red Lirac The Rhône Valley s most Mediterranean red wine Smaller and more retiring than some of its neighbours, Lirac is a little gem of a wine, appreciated by adventurous wine drinkers for its lovely power, created by the munificence and sunlight of the South of France, and which is always characterized by a delicate freshness. The Lirac appellation sits at the top of the Rhône Valley wine hierarchy. It is one of the sixteen Côtes du Rhône Crus, more specifically one of the eight southern Crus, along with Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Tavel (which it borders) and, more recently, Beaumes de Venise, Vinsobres and Rasteau. The eight other Crus (Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Château Grillet, Saint Joseph, Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage, Cornas, Saint- Péray) are located in the northern part of the Rhône Valley, between Vienne and Valence. The Lirac style One of the rare appellations to produce red, white and rosé, Lirac offers a range of wines characterized by their rich, aromatic strength combined with elegance and a refreshing finish. This balance is the Lirac style - a contemporary style preferred by new wine drinkers. Lirac wines suit modern culinary tastes and all types of world cuisine. The Reds Ruby red colour. Subtle, delicate scents of ripe red fruit, dark fruit and spices. Concentrated and powerful, Lirac red wines are harmonious and well-balanced. Their fresh, even minty, finish refreshes the palate. The Rosés Shimmering appearance with variations of colour: rose petal pink, cherry pink and grenadine. Red fruit perfumes (blackcurrant, raspberry, blackberry) sometimes complemented by mineral nuances. Lovely aromatic concentration. Fresh finish. The Whites Pale yellow hue draped in golden highlights. Floral and fruity fragrances, with notes of peach, herbs and spices and broom blossom. Open and pure in style, combining freshness and subtlety with lovely aromatic richness. 10 L IRAC GRAPE VARIETIES L IRAC GRAPE VARIETIES 11

7 Strategy CRU DEPUIS 1947 The Men and Women of Lirac humility, passion and commitment A great terroir is not just its wines, but the people who work together to bring the terroir to life. There are at least 50 wine-making entities in Lirac. This small number is an advantage, as it is easier to involve all Lirac winemakers in important projects. United in their efforts to preserve their terroir and working environment, they are committed to constantly improving the quality of their wines. This commitment starts in the vineyard where viticultural procedures and practices are constantly improved to obtain grapes of the highest possible quality, as the excellence of a wine starts with that of the grape. The quality of the ecosystem is inseparable from the quality of the raw material; reducing influents, respecting the soil and its micro-fauna, reducing wine-making effluents: The Lirac wine region is small in size but big on its commitment to the environment. To drink a bottle of Lirac, is to enjoy the fruit of a total approach to quality, which starts with work in the vineyards and finishes with work in the cellar. In 2009, those involved in the sales and marketing of Lirac A.O.C. wines decided that they wanted to take the quality of their wines and knowhow to the next level. A strategic review was carried out to identify ways to improve the quality and guarantee the typical character of the wines. Marketing and communication strategy was also reviewed. The new Lirac logo : the reflection of the image of its wines Lirac is a discreet, modest Cru, but one of high quality. Lirac is a range of powerful yet elegant wines. These come from a terroir with a past yet meet the expectations of wine drinkers of today. These dimensions can all be found within the new logo: Broad, solid typography, which commands respect and expresses a strong character and rich, complex wines. Movement in the letter A, reflecting the wines suppleness and fullness on the palate, providing a touch of humour and conveying the Mediterranean spirit. Heraldry that revisits the terroir s historical and cultural heritage, e.g. its châteaux, in a timeless manner In summary: timeless, high quality Lirac branding providing reassurance and befitting a quality (cru) wine. The new official Lirac appellation bottle, Symbol of a proactive approach to quality In 2009, after long debate, those involved in the sales and marketing of Lirac wine (cooperatives, traders, producers, wine houses) decided to enforce new quality procedures associated with a new official bottle. This bottle can only be used by those adhering to a quality charter. Quality control measures (typicality of the wines, tastings, chemical analysis) are more stringent than those set out in the A.O.C. s specifications. This solid yet very slender bottle symbolizes the desire of those involved in the sales and marketing of Lirac wine to go further: tighter quality requirements and closer to Lirac consumers, who are younger and more urban. The bottle also reflects Lirac s identity: powerful yet elegant and very expressive wines. LIRAC CRU DEPUIS 1947 The new LIRAC ECOVA bottle, produced by Verallia, is environmentally friendly yet retains value in the eyes of consumers. It is distinguished by its timeless design and the embossed Lirac logo. It is made from 10% recycled glass, thereby reducing the carbon impact of its manufacture by 5% 12 A PROACTIVE APPROACH A PROACTIVE APPROACH 13

8 Lirac wine tasting combining power and elegance Lirac red On the eye, these wines stand out for their beautiful intensity and deep ruby colour. On the nose, they offer up a bouquet of red fruit, black fruit, garrigue and spices. They improve with age, gaining in complexity and developing notes of leather, liquorice, truffle and cocoa. On the palate, the wines are extremely well balanced; their tannic, aromatic strength balancing the characteristic fullness and smoothness. These wines have significant ageing potential. With food, their velvety texture makes them ideal for meat/game, duck breast, terrines, as well as turkey with chestnuts or roast farm chicken. They go particularly well with lamb, whether grilled, braised or in a stew. Lirac rosé The rosés display a bright, even colour. They exude very seductive aromas of strawberry, raspberry and other red fruit such as pomegranates. Their main characteristic is their balance between acidity and smoothness on the palate. This fullness is combined with a nice fresh finish as well as lovely aromatic intensity. These wines are powerful enough to stand up to spicy Mediterranean cuisine (tagine, bouillabaisse, stuffed aubergines and tomatoes, mezze and grilled meat, etc). They are also perfect with Asian and oriental cuisines, which call for powerful wines with long lasting flavours. Lirac wine and food pairings: classic pairings with world cuisine Fillet of beef with pan-fried vegetables, lacquered with rosemary, and Lirac wine confit Ingredients for 4 people: 4 x 150 g fillets of beef - 1/4 litre olive oil g mushrooms - 12 small potatoes - 12 baby carrots salt and white pepper - 250g veal jus- 100g honey g red Lirac wine confit* - 2 small sprigs of rosemary. Preparation: caramelize the honey, remove from heat and add the confit* of red Lirac wine, as well as the veal jus. Add salt and pepper and reduce. Season the fillets of beef and brown them on both sides in olive oil. Boil the potatoes and carrots in salted water. Drain the vegetables after boiling. Heat olive oil to brown the vegetables. Bake the fillets in an oven heated to 240 for around 10 minutes depending on how well cooked you want them. Arrange the trimmings on a warmed plate. Place the fillet in the centre. Cover the fillet with some of the sauce and pour the remainder over the plate and on the vegetables. Serve with 2 or 3 year old Lirac red. (*reduce the Lirac over a gentle heat). Provençal Petits farcis (stuffed vegetables) Ingredients for 6 people: vegetables (small size: 6 tomatoes - 6 onions - 6 round courgettes 6 round aubergines) g de-boned veal breast g cured loin - 2 garlic cloves - 6 soup-spoons cooked rice g grated parmesan - 2 eggs - 15 cl olive oil - 3 sprigs of thyme - 2 sprigs of rosemary - 1 bouquet of parsley - 1 bouquet of basil - 1 cube beef stock - salt - pepper. Preparation: Peel the onions and blanch them for 10 mins in boiling water and drain. Wash and dry the tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines. Cut the tops off the vegetables and put these to one side. Carefully scoop out the centre of the vegetables taking care not to pierce the skin. Keep the flesh for the stuffing. Preheat the oven to No 6 (180 C). Chop up both meats. Peel and chop the garlic. Chop up 2 soup spoons of onion pulp and flesh from all the vegetables. Fry the garlic and vegetable flesh in oil for 3 min on a high heat. Stir, add the meat and brown for 5 min. Add salt and pepper. Transfer into a bowl, let the mixture cool down slightly, then mix in the rice, eggs, parmesan, chopped parsley, basil, and thyme and a dash of rosemary. Put the stuffing inside the vegetables and place them in a greased baking tin. Drizzle with olive oil, replace the tops on each vegetable. Dilute the stock cube in 40 cl of hot water, pour 15 cl of the stock into the tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour, keeping the vegetables moist by regularly dousing with stock. Lower heat to No 5 (150 C) and continue baking for around 30 mins. Decorate with the rest of the rosemary. Can be enjoyed hot, warm or cold. Lirac red Served with food, Lirac red wines powerful yet velvety texture make them ideal with red and white thickly-fleshed meat that require some mastication (lambs, hare, rabbit, pigeon, etc), duck breasts, terrines and ballottines, as well as turkey with chestnuts or roast farm chicken. Serving recommendations Red Lirac wines should be served at C. The bottle is best opened one hour before serving or served in a decanter Lirac rosé Lirac rosés are not just for aperitif drinking, they can be enjoyed throughout a meal. Possessing lovely aromatic strength and an exceptional balance of acidity and smoothness, they are a good match for white meat and all Mediterranean cuisine, be it chicken, seafood or marinated vegetables. They are also superb with sushi and Thai-inspired picnics. Lirac white White Lirac wines have a clear, radiant appearance with a bright rim. On the nose, the wines reveal a range of floral and fruity aromas. They release scents of acacia, linden and fennel interlaced with perfumes of white peach, apple and exotic fruit. Over time, these aromas evolve into honey and garrigue: laurel and plant essences. On the palate, the wines are fine, subtle, highly perfumed and leave a pleasant sensation of freshness on the finish. Served with food, they require similar type, subtle and delicate dishes, such as a platter of seafood, cooked fish or fish in sauce, shellfish or grilled seafood. They are also a good match with hard goats cheese. Sea scallop in shallot cream and leeks in a confit of Lirac white wine Ingredients for 4 people: 24 sea scallops - 2 small leeks - 8 shallots - 3 carrots / 12 baby carrots - 20 cl crème fraîche - 80 g butter - 2 soup spoons of confit* of Lirac white wine Salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of caster sugar. Preparation: chop the shallots, leeks and carrots into fine strips. Lightly heat them in a frying pan with 20 g butter and a tablespoon of confit. Cook them without browning for 5 mins stirring often with a spatula to ensure they remain tender. Add salt and pepper, and the teaspoon of sugar. Heat in a hot pan and pour in the crème fraîche, a tablespoon of confit and 60 g of softened butter. Add the sea scallops. Add salt and pepper and serve hot. (*reduce the Lirac rosé over a gentle heat). Lirac white Served with food, Lirac whites require similar type, subtle and full flavoured dishes, such as a platter of seafood, fish and cooked prawns. They are also a good match with hard goats cheese. Their aromatic strength and good length make them ideal for fusion cuisine marrying spices, ginger, garlic, coriander or basil. 14 L IRAC WINE AND FOOD PAIRINGS L IRAC WINE AND FOOD PAIRINGS 15

9 Sober, inconspicuous & luxury Syndicat de l AOC LIRAC - Chemin des Chênes Lirac - FRANCE Tel 0033 (0) / Fax 0033 (0) / - Crédits photos : photothèque Inter-Rhône ; Cédric PRAT studio l oeil-écoute

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