The minute I poured a glass of this 2010 Lirac, the scent of dried wild herbs, ripe blackberries, olives and earth leapt out of the glass. It's so rich and intense, it comes on like a baby Châteauneuf. In fact, the Bréchet family that produces this Lirac, a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, is renowned for their Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The "Plateau des Chênes" Lirac is fresh and easy to drink now, though it would be fun to see what it would become with some aging.
Somehow, I don't think my bottles are going to hang around for that long. It's too tempting to break one out for a slow-roasted salmon or a Cornish game hen. I'd pair it with schnitzel or grilled calves' liver too.
Region: Southern Rhône
Price: About $20
Style: Fresh and complicated
What it goes with: Salmon, roast birds, veal, calves' liver
Where to find it: Green Jug in Woodland Hills, (818) 887-9463,
; Mission Wine & Spirits in Pasadena, (626) 794-7026,
; Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463,
; and the Wine Crush in Long Beach (562) 438-9463,