French Wine Explorers
Just about this time last month (Sept. 6, to be exact), I talked briefly about Lirac, the relatively less-well-known French wine region near Avignon, across the Rhone from Cotes-du-Rhone and such favored appellations as Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
That day I reported on Domaine de la Mordoree 2000 "La Dame Rousse" Lirac, a sturdy and complex red wine that wouldn't have been embarrassed in a side-by-side competition with a decent Chateauneuf, thus justifying a $15 local retail price.
Today let's wrap up the week with another good wine that's perhaps a bit more in the typical fresh-and-fruity Lirac style, and that comes home for a couple of dollars less. Chateau de Ségriès, owned by Henri de Lanzac, is a neighbor of Domaine de la Mordoree, and Lanzac is the cousin of Mordoree's producer, Christophe Delorme. Their wines are often compared ... not so much to determine which is the better wine but to delight in their delicious differences.Chateau de Ségriès 2000 Lirac ($11.99)
A blend of 60 percent Grenache and 40 percent Syrah, this dark-garnet wine with reddish glints shows both sides of its parentage in a delicate red-berry scent with a whiff of black pepper, pleasant and appealing. Light in body but full in flavor, it shows cherry-berry and fragrant pepper flavors laced up with bright, lemony acidity. An exceptionally attractive wine. U.S. importer: Kysela Pere et Fils Ltd., Winchester, Va. (Sept. 29, 2002)
FOOD MATCH: Well suited for chicken or any red meat, it went very well with a meatless choice, the wild-mushroom "risorzotto" featured Oct. 3 in the Wine Advisor's FoodLetter,
VALUE: Even at its $12 cost here (on the high end of the $10-$12 range that the importer lists as "national retail"), this fresh and refined wine qualifies as a good buy.
WEB LINKS: You'll find the importer's Website at
If you followed me (in E-mail or even in person) on last June's wine tour with our friends at French Wine Explorers, you may recall that we spent a day in Lirac as a part of our extensive visits throughout the Southern Rhone and Provence.
This was one of my most enjoyable wine-travel experiences yet, thanks to the the knowledge and the efforts of Lauriann Greene and Jean-Pierre Sollin, the certified sommeliers who live in France and run these tours. They fully live up to their offer to "Learn about wine in a fun, relaxed atmosphere," in a year-round schedule of small-group tours as well as private wine tours that can be customized just for you.
They'll host another Southern Rhone and Provence tour next spring from June 9-15. I'll be the guest "expert" on a French Wine Explorers tour of Bordeaux in mid-May; unfortunately this tour group is already full, but Jean-Pierre and Lauriann will lead another group to the same top Bordeaux properties next July 20-26. For information about these and other tours, you're invited to visit the organization's Website,
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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
Friday, Oct. 4, 2002
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.