2016 La Ferme Romaine, Domaine Lafond
Red • Rhône Valley • Lirac AOC • France • Grenache 60%, Syrah 30%, Mourvèdre 10% • 93/100 Robert Parker
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2016 La Ferme Romaine, Domaine Lafond, Côtes-du-Rhône, France, Lirac
Pascal and Jean-Pierre Lafond own 65 hectares of vineyards in Tavel, Lirac and since 2001 nearly a hectare in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Since the vineyards are in the eastern half of the appellation Tavel and Lirac (from Châteauneuf-du-Pape), we also find vineyards with huge round boulders of 10-30 cm diameter. It is a perfectly equipped winery, that works organically and it is fully HACCP-certified (food safety).
The soil is stony with sandy terraces of red pebbles. The climate is temperately hot, Mediterranean and very wind. Lirac is located in the axis of the Rhône valley. There is reduced rainfall and lots of sunshine of 2700 hours / year on average.
The average age of the vines is 30 years. During harvest the grapes are picked entirely by hand, in a qualitative goal. Clusters sorted by the harvester, they arrive intact in the basement thus avoiding oxidation. In addition, manual collection preserves the state of strains and therefore the future of the vineyard.
Method of vinification and aging: Picking in full, 21 days long fermentation, which provides supple but well present tannins. Followed by pressing, then the end of fermentation and storage in stainless steel tanks until the first over pumping. Then the wine matures on new barrels (half strong and half medium toast) from January to October, to soften the tannins, oxygenate the wine, and bring a touch of vanilla which "melts" in the structure of the wine over the months. The wine is bottled around January. From that moment the wine structure and the contribution of aging in barrels are aligned to achieve balance that will still improve for several years.