Country: France Region: Languedoc Vintage: 2016
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
Producer: Boulevard Napoléon
"Trevor Gulliver is a man of enthusiasms. The Fire Station in Waterloo, St. John and St. John Bread and Wine, Putney Bridge and many other restaurants have borne the imprint of Trevor's energy. A house in the Minervois was meant to be a place to recharge his energy but, true to the man, he saw an opportunity to make some wines. These wines are named after the street on which their winery is situated in the village of La Livinière.
When Trevor came to show us the wines in autumn 2013, we were worried we were going to have to tell an old mate that we didn't have room in our portfolio. However when we tasted the wines, we were quite certain we had the room! Their brightness, ripeness, definition and character, largely due to the fact that they are from old vineyards in the Minervois, made them both true to type and very appealing.
The Grenache Gris, made from a single vineyard of 70 year old vines, is one of the best white wines we've tasted from the Languedoc. It is rich and supple on the palate with a lovely texture, smoke and liquorice on the finish. The Grenache Noir, blended with 5% Cinsault that is planted in the same 70 year old vineyard in the Minervois, has a lovely colour and perfume. The Carignan, which includes 5% Syrah, is equally impressive. It illustrates what an underrated variety Carignan is when planted in the right spot and handled with care. It has good colour, a ripe and spicy nose and bright fruit and a supple texture on the palate. Their fourth wine, a blend of 70% Cabernet Franc and 30% Syrah, shows that they are willing to work with non-native varieties if the quality is right. The intensity of Cabernet Franc, which ripens wonderfully in the warm Minervois climate, has a tobacco character on the nose that is leavened by the brambley Syrah fruit on the palate. It is an inspired blend and, like all these wines, a great drink."
Winemaker: Benjamin Darnault
Fruit is sourced exclusively from a 75-year-old vineyard situated on stony terraces in the high hills of La Livinière, in the Minervois region. Here, soils are predominantly limestone and clay with the age of vines averaging 70 years. The wines show brightness, ripeness, definition and character - elements which can be largely attributed to these older vines.
Grapes were all hand-picked into small cases before being sorted and destemmed. Fermentation took place in 2,600 litre stainless steel tanks, after which point the grapes underwent a period of gentle extraction followed by three weeks of maceration. The pressings were then separated from the free run juice. 20% of the finished wine was transferred into 225 litre one-year-old oak barrels, another 20% into 600 litre demi-muids and the remaining 60% into tanks for maturation.
This wine is a fantastic example of what an underrated variety Carignan is when planted in the correct spot and handled with care. It is deep ruby in colour, with ripe fruits and spicy notes on the nose. The palate is lifted with bright berries and is supple in texture and long and lingering on the finish.
Food Suggestion: Pair with medium to rich meats, such as Cassoulet, Chorizo, lamb or steak, or with hearty stews.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:14.5% Acidity [g/l]: 5.04