2014 Domaine Maby Lirac Blanc, Rhone Valley, France (750ml)

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This Lirac Blanc is a delightful blend of 31% Grenache Blanc, 41% Clairette, 17% Picpoul and 11% Viognier. It did not go through malolactic fermentation and was aged in stainless steel tanks before bottling. As we've noted in the past, Rhone Valley white blends can often come off feeling overly rich, dense and sometimes even a little oily. We are happy to report that this wine isn't that at all. While it is medium to full bodied with a somewhat mouth filling texture, it does a great job of expressing the individual characteristics of each grape yet it all comes together in a balanced, lively and even keeled way. Scents of white flowers, citrus, white peach and even a little lavender make up the aromas on the nose. More vibrant flavors of chilled white peach, white nectarine and Fuji apple float across the palate and glide into the clean finish of fresh acidity and salinity. It's a fresh, well made wine that should charm any fan of white wine. The Mabys have been cultivating vines in the southern Rhône Valley village of Tavel since the early 19th century. Auguste Maby was the first in the family to focus entirely on producing wine from their 4.5 hectares of vines and would vinify them in the small cellar in the back of the family shoe shop. Auguste’s 15 year old son, Armand, joined him in helping to make the wines in 1936 when the family moved to a new house with a bigger cellar. By 1945, Armand was able to purchase vineyard land on his own and bought a house in 1950 where he built a more modern, traditional cellar and that marked the first vintage of Domaine Maby Tavel from the now 12 hectare estate. In the early 1960s, Armand was joined by his son, Roger, his brother, Bertrand and his son in law, Christian Amido, who also owned vineyards in Lirac. The Mabys purchased 30 hectares of land in Lirac and in 1970 planted vineyards to Syrah, Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc, Mourvèdre and Picpoul. Roger guided the Maby estate through the rest of the 20th century and his son, Richard, took over in 2005. Domaine Maby now covers 60 hectares of vines in Tavel, Lirac and Côtes-du-Rhône which are all sustainably farmed.

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