DOMAINE COUDOULIS, LIRAC
RHÔNE VALLEY, FRANCE
In wine, as in real estate: location, location, location.
That's true not just for the winemaker looking to launch a vineyard, but also for wine lovers on the hunt for superlative value.
We all know the greatness of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but not many are acquainted with its neighbor across the Rhône river, Lirac, and one of its most acclaimed estates, Domaine Coudoulis, from which today's excellent (and value-priced) two-fer hails.
The premier estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape might garner more attention, but they also command top dollar. Coudoulis shares the same hot, dry climate and the same stony soils, known in the trade as galets roulés (rolled pebbles), which protect the vines and minimize soil loss when the infamous Mistral winds strike.
That means that these wines begin life with a massive head start, and that the job of the winemaker, Bernard Callet, is largely a matter of building upon that foundation and not getting too much in the way. This Callet has done — and beautifully, at that.
When Callet describes himself, it is not first and foremost as a winemaker, it is as an "Earthman" — a self-definition that tells you most of what you need to know about Coudoulis. The connection to the land speaks volubly in these wines, which impart an unmistakable sense of time and place while also impressing you with their concentration, intensity, and depth.
Listen to James Suckling's tasting notes for the Lirac Cuvee Bacchus — the way they revel in the rich, sensual experience that Callet has delivered. "Deep black-cherry and forest-berry aromas pour from the glass of this rich and fleshy Lirac," he wrote, in a 92-point rave. "The full, fine tannins support the very full body very neatly…. Impressive grip and spicy character at the long, bold finish."
The Lirac, from 2020, is almost as luscious, and at almost half the cost (we're offering it for a best price of under $17 a bottle). Here's Suckling again: "The dark, peppery nose pulls you into this ripe and fleshy Southern Rhone red that’s very easy to enjoy, thanks to its abundant black fruit and generous, soft tannins, which make the finish rather creamy. Drink now."
Drink now, indeed: that and the stunning price makes it an absolutely fantastic choice for purchasing by the caseload, a versatile wine to keep on hand for all your many entertaining needs.
Meantime, you can cellar the Lirac Cuvee Bacchus, giving it a few more years, when it will reveal even more of its craft and charm.
We'll have both on hand, and at these terrific prices, for the next week only, so take advantage of this great opportunity to drink well now and for the future.
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Fall 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.