The Black Mountains (Montagne Noir), on the south-western edge of the great Massif Central, give way to foothills that roll south to the famous Canal du Midi and the road that threads between medieval Carcassonne and ancient Narbonne.
In these foothills you will find the 40 hectares of Château Sainte-Eualie, a benchmark Minervois estate near the village of La Livinière, itself the first part of the Languedoc ever to be awarded cru status in 1999.
Isabelle Coustal and her husband Laurent bought the property in 1996 and have built it into an estate that we are proud to have worked with for many years. They farm sustainably and have been certified as such by the French government, and in 2006 invested in a warehouse relying on a geothermal system to maintain the optimum temperature.
The vines are nurtured on south-facing terraces and slopes at between 200 to 250 metres altitude, sheltered from the north winds by the mountain range. Sun-soaked syrah, grenache, carignan and cinsault grow alongside a little sauvignon blanc on pebbly soils containing a high percentage of clay, chalk and manganese, and some of the vines are deep-rooted centenarians. The harvested grapes are hand-sorted on arrival at the cellars to weed out any fruit not considered good enough before fermentation in a variety of vessels and vats.
The premium cuvée is La Cantilène, named for a Romanesque poem of 881AD, is only from the cru and it sees up to 50% new oak, while their other reds age in concrete vats. The consistent high quality of their Minervois and Minervois La Livinière AOC wines make this a Languedoc estate well worth following.
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