This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the October #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
This month the French Winophiles are exploring the wines of Lirac. And Rhône Valley Vineyards and Teuwen Communications graciously provided some of the bloggers with samples.* If you're reading this early enough, jump on Twitter and follow the hashtags #Winophiles, #rhonevalleyvineyards, #lirac, or #liracwines. We'll be live on Saturday, October 20th at 8am Pacific time. Or you can peruse the stream at your leisure anytime by searching for those tags.
Lirac, named for the village, is a wine-growing Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) that sits in the low hills along the Rhône river in the southern Rhône region of France. Vineyards have been cultivated there since the Roman times almost two millennia ago and by the 1500s the wines were lauded by the French royal courts for their quality. This AOC is completely new to me, so I was grateful for the chance to explore it.
The Other Lirac Pairings
- Michelle from Rockin Red Blog shares Lirac AOC Produces Your New Favorite Wines
- Payal at Keep the Peas writes Lirac AOC: Hidden in Plain Sight
- David at Cooking Chat pairs Mushroom Mac and Cheese Casserole with Wine from Lirac
- Gwen from Wine Predator posts Discover Lirac's Southern Rhone Palate with the #Winophiles
- Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm says Savory Stew paired with Lirac is Luscious
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla matches Poulet au Citron et Lavande + La Lôyane 2016
- Jane from Always Ravenous talks Mediterranean Flavors of Bouillabaisse Paired with Lirac Blanc
- Jill from L'Occasion declares Lirac: Five Star Wine And Travel
- Robin from Crushed Grape Chronicles features Lirac - Castles, Keeps, Wolves & Divas in the Southern Rhône
- Martin from Enofylz Wine Blog shares A Taste of Lirac - Rhone's Undiscovered Cru
- Kat from Bacchus Travel and Tours declares Lirac: The Rhone's Hidden Gem
- Susannah from Avvinare posts Lirac Wines- Discovering the Southernmost AOC of the Rhone
- Liz from What's in That Bottle focuses on Lirac: the Rhône Valley’s Secret Right Bank Ringer
- Rupal from Syrah Queen encourages us to Discover Lirac - Rhône’s Best Kept Secret
- Nicole from Somms Table writes Cooking to the Wine: Clos de Trias Ventoux with Bacon Cheddar Teriyaki Burger
- Jeff at FoodWineClick! posts Lirac: Wine from the Wrong Side of the Tracks
In My Glass
Though I received four different red wines from Lirac, I opted to share my pairing for the La Lôyane 2016 - mainly because I liked the name! “La Lôyane” is the historical name of the region where the domaine was built; in ancient times it meant a “territory occupied by wolves.”
Domaine La Lôyane was established in 2001, but the estate has been growing grapes in Lirac for four generations. Today, the estate is managed by Romain Dubois and his wife Laure; they oversee 75 acres in Lirac and Tavel and farm them all organically.
This single vineyard release comes from an area called “Les Theys” which boasts the oldest Grenache vines in all of Lirac, hence the 'vielles vignes' on the label.
A blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, this wine has strong garrigue aromas which refers to the wild, aromatic low-growing vegetation on the limestone hills of the Mediterranean coast. Think juniper, thyme, rosemary and lavender; 'garrigue' refers to the lot of them. For this ruby-hued wine, I got mostly lavender and thyme on the nose. And the salinity on the tongue definitely made me think of the Mediterranean.
On My Plate
I decided to mirror those garrigue notes by making a pan-crisped chicken dish rubbed with lavender, thyme, lemon zest, and sea salt.
Poulet au Citron et Lavande
serves 4 to 6, depending on appetite
- 6 to 8 organic bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T butter
- juice and zest from 1 organic lemon + lemon slices for serving
- 1 T crushed lavender + more for serving, if desired
- 1 T flake salt
- 1 t dried thyme
- freshly ground pepper, as needed
In a large bowl, combine lavender, thyme, lemon zest, and salt. Mix well. Rub the mixture on both sides of the chicken thighs and let stand for 10 minutes.
In a heavy skillet, melt 1 T butter in olive oil. Place the skin side of chicken down and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
Turn the chicken over. Squeeze lemon juice over the top and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, as desired, and serve immediately.
I served this with smashed red potatoes and a salad.