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Côtes du Rhône Blanc, cuvée TRADITION 2013, 2**, France

Established at the foot of the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce sanctuary in Rochefort du Gard, not far from the ancient marshes drained by the monks in the Middle Ages, this estate … shows great consistency in quality. This white wine, with a high proportion of Grenache (complemented by 20% each of Clairette, Roussane, Ugni and Viognier), wears its crystal-clear color beautifully. The subtly floral nose reminded one inspired juror of the springtime world of… Laura Ashley. Long-lasting sensations with persistence on the palate, full of finesse, alert and very fresh, well marked by clairette. And to make matters worse, the value for money is excellent.

Cotes du Rhône Villages Red 2012, 1*.

Confidential, but very good. On the nose, ripe, almost candied fruit. On the palate, supple, with fine tannins and a long, fruity, spicy finish. Gourmet.

Lirac Rouge 2012, 1*

Once again, Lirac from the Dubois family – Jean-Pierre, his wife Dominique and their son Romain – does not disappoint. A blend of grenache (50%), syrah (40%) and carignan, this 2012 delivers an enticing bouquet of candied black fruits and morello cherry jelly. This generous fruitiness (hints of kirsch), mingled with cocoa, is found on the full, unctuous palate, built around firm but not harsh tannins.

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