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26 October 2008

Languedoc: Château Sainte-Eulalie, Minervois La Livinière

Château Sainte-Eulalie

Tracking the wine-themed arrows out of the village of La Livinière up a lane heading for Calamiac, you should find (using eyesight rather than GPS) Château Sainte-Eulalie lying a good bit up the hill. Isabelle and Laurent Coustal bought this scenic estate in 1996 and are now making flavoursome, spicy and structured reds mainly from Syrah. If you call or email them in advance, they'll be pleased to take you on a spin around the property, where you get a fab view from the top (225 metres/700 feet) giving a snapshot vista of La Livinière appellation and its assorted, undulating, contoured vineyard terrain. The Coustal family also rent out a holiday cottage across the yard from the cellar, surrounded by postcard vines it goes without saying – see website for more info.

I visited Sainte-Eulalie end of October 2008, during Les Grands Chemins "Rencontres en Minervois" festival, and tasted (see updates below):
2006 La Cantilène Minervois La Livinière (50% Syrah + Grenache Carignan, 14% alc.) - dark cherry and chocolate on the nose, lightly toasted v rich and tasty, grippy tannins v nice 'sweet' texture; closes up on the finish with lingering oak dominating at the moment but this is promising and needs 6-12 months. €12 89+?

And three vintages of this wine were sampled at Montpellier's Vinisud show back in Feb. 2004:
2003 La Cantilène Minervois La Livinière (barrel sample) - Rich colour, spicy blackberry fruit and chocolate oak; structured backbone layered with ripe dense fruit, elegant finish too. 89
2001 La Cantilène - Attractive maturing rustic notes mix with tobacco and dark plum fruit, quite fine and tight showing elegant length and concentration. 89+
2002 La Cantilène - Floral notes to the liquorice and blackberry fruit, pure and mineral style with tight framework and bite set against concentrated fruit. 89

Latest: note on their 2008 La Livinière, Minervois report June 2011 and 2009 vintage posted June 2010.

34210 La Livinière. Tel: 04 68 91 42 72/06 03 89 13 41, info@chateausainteeulalie.comwww.chateausainteeulalie.com.

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