le-cru-la-liviniere

The Cru La Livinière

Singular and multifaceted, the first cru to be recognized in the Languedoc in 1999, La Livinière is an appellation of powerful and elegant red wines. It is situated in the heart of the Minervois, between Toulouse and Montpellier.

THE BELLTOWER OF LA LIVINIERE,
LIKE A LIGHTHOUSE AT THE TIP OF THE HEADLAND

The winemakers call it ‘the beacon of the cru’. It was chosen for its symbolism. It is a strong image. With its delicate twin bays and flat stone roof, the belltower of the La Livinière church stands out in silhouette above the village and the vast terrace of the Minervois, which is spread out below. Like a lighthouse at the tip of the headland.
It is not just an illusion. Not that the Mediterranean, less than 50km away as the crow flies, can be glimpsed on the horizon. But 50 million years ago, when the Atlantic Ocean opened the breach of the Gulf of Gascony, a warm shallow sea seeped in to the north of the Pyrenees, until it came to lap at the most southerly slopes of the Massif Central. And La Livinière marks the most southerly point of this most ancient coastline.

 

the-terroir

The Terroir

SEA LINGERED THERE A FEW MILLION YEARS.

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T hough but a speck on the scale of the planet’s history of course, it was long enough to form the base of the giant limestone slab of the Causse of Minerve, and to trace the key features of the relief, and forge the underlying elements of the mineral melting-pot that makes up the terroir of La Livinière. A mixture of limestone, pebbles, sand and clay where alluvial deposit and erosion have patiently carried out their work: hollowing out gorges in the limestone plateau of the causse, a little lower down shaping the succession of sandstone hills dotted with woods, and lastly carpeting the terraces with pebbles. An elaborate preparation of the ground for viticulture, possible up to 400m above sea level.

 

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The Vineyards

WITH 350 HECTARES OF VINES SCATTERED IN THE GARRIGUE, THE CRU SEEMS TO BE ETCHED INTO THE LIMESTONE PLATEAU OF THE CAUSSE

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La Livinière didn’t fall from the sky. Lavineira, the earliest written mention of it in 1069, means ‘a place planted with vines’.


This is proof that the first plantations carried out by the Roman colonizers had a ripple effect. And that men have not stopped since etching their presence onto the landscape. The little fields of vines bear witness to this, as well as the innumerable drystone walls running the length and breadth of the countryside.

land-la-liviniere

It was a laborious job of grazing and clearing to defeat the garrigue and the woods, and end up with 350 hectares dedicated to the production of the precious cru La Livinière – scattered over 2700 hectares of the official terrain of the appellation, which extends into the tortuous territory of six village districts: La Livinière, Siran, Cesseras, Félines-Minervois, Azille and Azillanet.


The pioneering visionaries of the syndicate of the cru, Maurice Piccinini and Roger Piquet quickly brought to light the qualities of this inland archipelago at the heart of the Minervois.

 

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The Winemakers

A CRU WOULDN’T BE A CRU WITHOUT EACH WINEMAKER’S INDIVIDUAL STAMP.

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Singular of course, it is nonetheless also multifaceted. Each winemaker’s individual touch complements the influence of the variety of stone, the position of the vineyards on the slopes, and the degree of southern exposure. Each winemaker brings distinctive approaches to each stage of the elaboration of each wine. These are a question of style and orient the profile of the wine. Everything is in order and happily so.
And always, there is respect for the other. The representatives of the forty winemakers that are included in the cru La Livinière today meet regularly to taste their respective wines and elect those ones that seem to them, at the time, to be the most emblematic of the cru. These bottles form what they call ‘the Collection’, with a nod to stylists of a different kind.

Press kit

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Domaine Chabbert
Vieux Continent
Domaine Rouanet Montcélèbre
Domaine JP Charpentier
Champs du Lièvre
Domaine Cantaussel
Domaine de Tholomies
Domaine La Siranière
Domaine de la Senche
Château Sainte-Eulalie
Domaine la Rouviole
Clos des Roques
Domaine du Roc
Domaine Piccinini
Clos des Pères
Château Pépusque
Mas Paumarhel
Domaine de l’Oustal Blanc
L’Ostal Cazes
Clos d’Ora
Château Mignan
Clos du Marbrier
Château Massamier la Mignarde
Château Maris
Domaine Lignères-Lathenay
Château Laville Bertrou
Domaine Laur-Bauzil
Château de Gourgazaud
Château de Fauzan
Château Faîteau
Château La Croix Martelle
Les Coteaux du Minervois
Château Cesseras
Clos Centeilles
Domaine La Borie Blanche
Domaine Borie de Maurel
Domaine Ancely
Alliance Minervois
Domaine Aimé
Les Combes cachées
Tour Trencavel
the-wines

The wines

THE TRIO SYRAH, GRENACHE, CARIGNAN RENDERED HERE IN ONE OF ITS MOST ENCHANTING INCARNATIONS

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T he power of the red wines of La Livinière can be explained by the dominant strength of the mineral, the slopes facing south towards the sun, and the paucity of rainfall – barely 400 to 500 millimetres a year.

But, the sunny nature of the red wines of La Livinière is luckily tempered by the breezes that sweep down from the plateau at night. This is what lends the feeling of elegance, the coolness and the sweetness to the tanins in the wines of the cru. A natural balance that the winemakers have learnt to enhance. In particular, by selecting the right combination from the palette of grape varieties. That is, essentially, mixing the ‘northern’ syrah with grenache and carignan native to the south. A major trio rendered here in one of its most enchanting incarnations. It is powerful and elegant in the mouth, with aromas of ripe fruit, strong essences of the garrigue, of olives, sometime truffles, cool minty hints, and spicy notes. In short, a singular and multifaceted harmony that echoes the landscape.

wines-selection

The 2017 Collection of the cru La Livinière

How to expose the singular essence of the appellation, the plethora of winemakers’ styles, and the spirit of the moment? This is the challenge for the jury of journalists, sommeliers and winemakers, who choose a selection of wines to be the ambassadors of the cru during one year.

cuvees-liviniere2016

JURY OF JOURNALISTS

  • Clos Centeilles
    Clos Centeilles 2011
  • Domaine de Tholomiès
    Domaine de Tholomiès 2015
  • L’Oustal Blanc
    Prima Donna 2014

JURY OF SOMMELIERS

  • Domaine la Siranière
    Minervois-La Livinière 2012*
  • Domaine Ancely
    Les Vignes Oubliées 2013
  • Mas Paumarhel
    Mourel Rouge 2014

JURY OF WINEMAKERS

  • Château Faîteau
    Gaston 2014*
  • Champs du Lièvre
    Minervois-La Livinière 2015
  • Château Maris
    Dynamic 2014

wines-gallery
Château Maris
Champs du Lièvre
Château Faîteau
L’Oustal Blanc
Domaine de Tholomiès
Clos Centeilles
Mas Paumarhel
Domaine Ancely
Domaine la Siranière
heritage

Heritage

NEOLITHIC DOLMENS AND ROMANESQUE CHAPELS – THE CRU LA LIVINIÈRE STANDS OUT ALSO FOR ITS RICH HERITAGE.

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Thanks to archaeological excavations carried out in the cave of Aldène, nestled in the canyon of the Cesse, man’s presence in this corner of the Languedoc for over 6,000 years can be confirmed.

That is to say that man had the time to impress his presence into the landscape. And even if history has not spared them all, lots of monuments have survived. There are the dolmens, such as the Fades dolmens near Pépieux, those of the Planette plateau at Félines, and the Cigalière dolmen on the limestone plateau overlooking Cesseras. Then there are the castles. And a whole host of religious buildings, including beautiful chapels like the one at Centeilles, near Siran, with its 15th-century frescoes, or the Saint-Germain chapel, with its Lombard bands characteristic of the first southern Romanesque art, nestled in the pines beside Cesseras. Other remains of a colourful past are the former marble quarries above Félines-Minervois, where they quarried the blocks of Turquin and Griotte red to be used at Versailles.

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