Domaine d'Arbousset

Southern Rhône, southern rhone France

Gérald Lafont is a consultant for over 40 different wineries in the Rhône Valley, many of which are located in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, his main focus is a 2.5 hectare vineyard in Lirac, which was left to him by his father Yvon. Domaine d’Arbousset is now owned and run by Gérald and his wife, Julie, where they make a Lirac that illustrates the great potential of this appellation.

Gérald and Julie have practised organic and biodynamic viticulture since taking over the Domaine in 2001, and are currently midway through the certification process. The vineyard is divided into two plots. Located in Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, the first plot is planted with low-yielding, 50-year-old Grenache on clay-limestone soil, which lends a striking depth of fruit to the finished wine. The second plot has a combination of 40-year-old Grenache and 30-year-old Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault planted on the extensive plateau of Claretière in Lirac. The soil is made up of large pebbles, sand and red clay, leading to intensely concentrated and elegant fruit.

The wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 10% Cinsault. The grapes are hand harvested and fully destemmed before fermenting with indigenous yeasts in concrete tanks. Maceration lasts three weeks with gentle pumping over to manage the level of extraction. The majority of the wine is then aged in concrete tanks for 18 months, with 30% aged in 600 litre French oak demi-muids. This Lirac shows notes of violets and bright red fruit with a hint of spice and liquorice on the palate, culminating in a long, harmonious finish.


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