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The DI taste test Minervois La Livinière

27 August, 2008
Page 50 
Château Cesseras 2004, Jean-Yves & Pierre-André Ournac

Sixth generation producers; single 4ha clay/chalk plot; 100 per cent Syrah; c.12,000 bottles; UK rrp £10.95

Aroma: Intensely herby, ground black pepper with baked blackcurrant, plum and touches of spice

Taste: Full and dense with sour black cherry and baked black fruits, concentrated mid-palate with spicy fruits/chutney on the finish

Traditional, earthy, true to type, needs hearty food; a close second favourite.
----=== L'Ostal Cazes 2004, Jean-Michel Cazes ===60ha of vines in the Montagne Noire; steep, compact limestone slopes and sandstone marls; 65 per cent Grenache, 13 per cent Carignan, 12 per cent Grenache, 10 per cent Mourvedre; 15 months in French oak; 40,000 bottles; UK rrp £15

Aroma: Deep and dark with menthol aromas, turmeric and ginger spice, farmyard hints

Taste: Very full, densely packed with black fruit and spices, touches of liquorice on the finish

A food wine to cellar for five years or more.----=== Château Laville Bertrou 2005, Gerard Bertrand ===50ha estate in the Montagne Noire foothills, clay/limestone soil covered with gravel; 40 per cent Syrah, 30 per cent Grenache, 30 per cent Carignan. 80,000 bottles; UK rrp £10.95.

Aroma: Very attractive cassis, eucalyptus, rosemary and thyme with hints of tomato juice and black pepper

Taste: Concentrated, youthful, intense blackcurrant and an explosion of herbs mid-palate. Ripe and hefty tannin s lifted by keen acidity. Fruit-focused finish

The warmth of the vintage shows through in the ripeness, balance and overall complexity of this wine. Very enjoyable now but should be kept for four years or more.---- === Domaine La Rouviole 2004, Famille Léonor ===75 per cent Syrah, 25 per cent Grenache; UK rrp £14

Aroma: Fragrant, bright fruit leaps out of the glass - lots of blackcurrant with raspberry and hints of fresh mint and pine

Taste: Full, rounded, packed with juicy berry fruit. Soft tannins and prominent acidity. Creamy texture with vanilla pods on finish

Youthful, modern style. Drinking now but will improve for at least four years.

----=== Château Maris 2004 Old Vine Syrah, Robert Eden ===40ha biodynamic estate; UK rrp £8.99

Aroma: Earthy, smoky character with stewed plums and hints of blackcurrant.

Taste: Very dark, very deep with stewed black fruits, blackberry/blackcurrant compote. Rich and unctuous, densely packed fruit with soft, rounded tannins cut by juicy acidity. There is a touch of damson jam on the finish

Very moreish but also one to ponder over.