Domaine de la Mordorée, Lirac (Rhône Valley, France) “La Dame Rousse” 2020

($35, Kysela Pere et Fils):  Lirac, a lesser-known appellation across the Rhône River from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is, like that more well-known neighbor, also a cru of the Rhône, a distinction given to a village and its surroundings that makes distinctive wines.  So, looking at the Rhône quality pyramid, Lirac sits with Gigondas, Vacqueryas, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and other crus, at the top.  Though all cru may be equal in the eyes of French regulators, the marketplace distinguishes among them by price, which does not always reflect quality.  And that’s why you need to know about Lirac because its wines often hit above their weight.  Take La Mordorée’s beefy Lirac La Dame Rousse for example.  It delivers far more than its price suggests.  A fifty-fifty blend of Grenache and Syrah, it displays a haunting tarriness intermingled with red and black fruits.  It’s muscular without being boisterous or heavy.  Ready to drink now, it would be a terrific choice with grilled lamb.
93 Michael Apstein May 2, 2023