Chateau Segries wanted to create something truly worthy of a fine cellar. That is exactly what they have done here.
This wine came as a surprise to me on our last trip through the Rhone Valley, during a small blizzard we were expecting to taste new vintages of wines we were familiar with. As I walked into the dining area of the cellar, I instantly went to the warm fire that was roasting young ducklings for our dinner that evening. The ducks smelled amazing, but what caught my eye were the logs burning in the fire, they were actually gnarly old grape vines that looked at least 100 years old.
I know the vineyards of Segries well, and knew there was nothing with vines of this age. I was already cold, wet, and had already been in France for two weeks. A close friend of mine who came on the trip had already mentally checked out as he stood by the fire and muttered something about central air heating. So, I just sucked down some juice and tried to stay warm and not go as insane as my friend did.
After tasting through a few vintages, Henri de Lanzac daughter Anne smiled at me and brought out a new label that we had never seen "Secret de la Grange". Which is the name of the vineyard they sourced the grapes from. A vineyard filled with vines with a mean age of 80 years, explaining where the old vines in the fire came from.
The issue with old vines is that they either die or produce very little fruit. The reason old vine wine is so sought after is due to the small fruit production. All the nutrients, flavor, and tannin are pushed into very few grape clusters resulting in a wine that will have a full body and well extracted fruit flavors. As well, can take on many years in the cellar.
This is by far one of the top Liracs from the region, ranking up there with Mordoree's Reine des Bois.
"The estate's top wine is the 2016 Lirac Secret de la Grange, a 90-10 blend of Grenache and Syrah that never sees oak. This full-bodied blend is fabulously concentrated and lush, with ripe fruit flavors of raspberries and stone fruits, an intriguing hint of almond paste and a rich, long finish tinged with licorice. It should drink well for up to a decade. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #233, October 2017), 93 pts
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