Rhone lovers (and bargain lovers) know that a top Lirac (the closest appellation to Chateauneuf-du-Pape) can approximate the quality and style of many Chateauneufs at a far lower price.
And among Rhone lovers, there is no critic as knowledgeable or serious as British Rhone specialist Jonathan Livingstone-Learmonth. He gives this superb 2018 Lirac from Amido its top rating ever, four stars.
Dark red; a gentle blackberry aroma leads the bouquet, with dried herbs in the background. It’s a nicely natural opening. The palate is softly fruited as well, red fruits with dashes of spice, and a little crispness, a vegetal note, in the tannins. It has the profile of a cool vintage, and drinks enjoyably, is authentic, clear Lirac, good with poultry, white meats. 14.5°
This is serious, high-quality (even Chateauneuf-quality) stuff, at the price of a mere Cotes-du-Rhone.