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Lirac “Canto-Bruno” from Domaine des Maravilhas

Lirac “Canto-Bruno” from Domaine des Maravilhas

Alexandra Troonin

Canto-Bruno was the name given to the young men who sipped wine from barrels waiting to be shipped from Marseille’s docks, back in 16 th century France. Sneaky and cunning, they used a thin pipe to sip some of the barrel’s contents. However, as they became increasingly drunk, they would start singing loudly (hence “canto”), with their lips darkened by the barrel and the wine (hence “bruno”).

Canto-Bruno is my favorite wine from Domaine des Maravilhas in Southern Rhône, not an easy choice since all of winemaker Jean-Frédéric Bistagne’s wines are wonderful and unique. This small biodynamic domaine is getting increasingly noticed for the quality of its wines. As a matter of fact, Jean-Frédéric’s wines have been selected for the upcoming Hospice du Rhône Festival to be held in Paso Robles, CA on April 26-27!

A blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, Canto-Bruno’s nose is very fruity and enticing, like a basket of just-picked crisp red cherries and lush raspberries, with a few mint leaves thrown in to enhance freshness. When you taste it, the fruit nicely blends with spicy notes such as licorice but the medium-high acidity makes it stay fresh, never overbearing like many Southern Rhône wines. It keeps evolving as you drink it (like many biodynamic wines) and before you know it your glass is empty and you want another taste. The minerality (i.e. wet rocks) keeps this wine juicy, salivating and vibrant, with a long finish. The tannins are silky smooth and overall the wine is perfectly balanced and elegant. Pairs wonderfully with pasta, ratatouille, red meat, and stuffed tomatoes.