Mission Codename Rhônederful
“suave with a rich and silky feel” “packed full of juicy fruit…no doubt a smart buy”
NO DOUBT, Jeb. No doubt indeed at our sub $20 price.
Cambie & Bréchet are BACK AT IT!
This, by a long shot, is the absolute BEST VALUE we’ve ever seen from the Southern Rhône. Absolutely crushes comparable wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Back in May, we saw Bréchet’s 2016 which cost roughly twice this, even with our massive discount. Even other lesser-known Châteauneuf satellites like Gigondas or Vacqueyras don’t come close to the quality-price ratio of this Lirac.
TRIPLE the 92 points, beat it down to UNDER $20, add CULT winemaker and TOP vintage = irresistible!
Philippe Cambie is the tour de force here. He is the only consulting winemaker in France that we know of who can sign on a winery to turn it into a 100-pointer machine. He has proven this too many times to even argue if it’s probable: from Clos Saint Jean in the South to Jamet in the North to his collaboration with Manfred Krankl of Sine Qua Non in California, the man has been there, done that, catapulting near-forgotten properties to the TOP of the list.
Eye candy cherry red, translucent to the core with a vibrant crimson rim. The perfume is redolent with red and blue fruits that mingle with notions of spice, mineral, earth. The palate shows terrific balance, alluring texture, and gobs of fruit that keep gushing out. Elegant and graceful, with sufficient power to last over a complex minute on the intense finish. Marinate some chicken thighs in bold herbs and spices, grill, and kick back with this too easy-to-love red.
A Wine Spectator article raves; “The Château de Vaudieu is a historic estate, one of only three still-standing Châteaus in the appellation that date to the 18th century… contiguous vineyards located next door to the famed Château Rayas. Yet history and location alone don’t guarantee quality. Enter the newest generation of the Bréchet family, led by Laurent Bréchet, and his brother Julien. Add in consultant Philippe Cambie and in-house winemaker Christophe Schurdevin, and what you have is a young, dynamic team that has made a major, major turnaround.”
Robert Parker, also a fan, cites this anecdote; “The always gracious Laurent Brechet oversees this large property, located close to the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape… Despite its proximity to the village, the Château itself is set well back from the road, a fact that no doubt made it appealing from a security standpoint for a visit from the Obamas, who visited the estate the day after I did. Celebrity visits aside, this is a terrific address, with great wines from top to bottom of the knockout 2016 lineup. Their consultant, Philippe Cambie, also deserves a lot of credit.”
Only 40 cases imported?! Back that Rhône wagon up fast.
92 points – Jeb Dunnuck *“While the Brechet Family is best known for their Châteauneuf-du-Papes and Gigondas, they make two terrific wines from holdings in Lilac. A wine that always seems to deliver, the 2016 Lirac Plateau des Chênes boasts a medium ruby color to go with terrific notes of red fruits (strawberries, cherries), flowers, ample spice, and subtle minerality. Possessing medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, elegant mouthfeel, and beautiful balance, it’s a no-brainer purchase from this estate that’s going to drink nicely for at least 5-7 years. Drink 2018-2025.
92 Points – Wine Spectator “Suave, with a rich and silky feel that allows gorgeous raspberry and plum puree flavors to glide through unencumbered, flashing alluring spice and tea notes along the way. Reveals a light mineral echo at the very end. Drink now through 2022. 40 cases imported.”
92 Points – Decanter “A concentrated Lirac packed full of juicy fruit. It’s intense, shot through with ripe tannins and all remarkably harmonious considering its slightly oversized frame. Long on the palate, really persistent. No doubt a smart buy. Drinking window 2018-2022.”
Red & blue fruits with notions of spice, mineral, earth
Eye candy cherry red, translucent to the core with a vibrant crimson rim
Redolent red and blue fruits mingle with notions of spice, mineral, earth
Terrific balance, alluring texture, and gobs of fruit that keep gushing out
Elegant and graceful, with sufficient power to last over a complex minute
Marinate some chicken thighs in bold herbs and spices, grill, and kick back
What the Winery Says
2016 'Plateau des Chênes' Lirac
- Phillippe Cambie
- 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache
- Lirac, Rhône Valley
- Red clay-limestone, galets
- Vineyard size
- 16 hectares
- Average vine age
- 30 years
- 9 months
- 600-liter French oak demi-muids