2014 Domaine L'Ostal Cazes "Grand Vin" Minervois La Livinière SKU #1316603

$19.99

DC 95
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

For many years Jean-Michel Cazes, owner of Lynch-Bages in Pauillac, scoured the countryside of the Languedoc in search of a great property. It wasn't until he came across the village of La Liviniere in 2002, at the foot of the Montagne Noire, when his search ended. La Liviniere is the Cru appellation of Minervois producing some of the deepest and most powerful reds in this region. Jean-Michel with the help of his son Jean-Charles found a property suitable to their standards and rechristened the estate L'Ostal, meaning both "house" and "family group" in the ancient Occitan language. The domaine comprises some 150 hectares, 60 planted to vineyards and 25 to olive trees. Sunny days and cool night breezes coming off the Montagne distinguish this Cru from the rest of Minervois. The surrounding terroir is composed of layers of limestone and sandy marl, a calcareous soil great for drainage making the roots of the vines dig deep in search of water and nutrients. This terroir is ideal for preserving freshness and acidity in Syrah and Grenache the two primary grapes of the estate. The Grand Vin is composed of mostly Syrah, about 70% with a bit of Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre rounding out the blend. The wine sees about 15 months in French oak barrels before bottling and rests at the estate until it is ready to be released. The wine has brambly fruit flavors, peppery spices and supple velvety tannins. It is perfect for drinking now and over the next 10+ years.

Staff Reviews

  • Ivan Diaz
    By: Ivan Diaz
    9/1/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    Minervois is perhaps my favorite up and coming southern French region. Traditional Rhone varietals (70% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 10% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre) are the building blocks here, providing a juicy core of red and blue berries. The cedar and black pepper of the Syrah stands forward, while the high-tone acidity of the Grenache provides a mouth-watering texture that finishes with a touch of spicy tannin. Excellent value.
  • John Majeski
    By: John Majeski
    8/28/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    Whether strange coincidence or amazing prescience, the elegant label on this bottle depicts a full solar eclipse, and the imposing, layered wine within evokes as much rapt attention and held breath as that phenomenon. To be expected I suppose from a legendary Bordeaux producer as Jean-Michel Cazes. Compromise or half-measures are hardly his game, and when he chose to make wines in the Languedoc, he selected the Minervois AOC, where the exposed warmth of the vineyards is amplified by a vast geological amphitheater of limestone and marl. The sheer integrity of the beautiful fruit in this wine, with a core of blackcurrants, fleshy plums, vanilla bean, subtle spice and wild lavender....eclipses my palate. Truly a remarkable wine today that will evolve into a memorable wine tomorrow.
  • Thomas Smith
    By: Thomas Smith
    8/25/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    It seems like everyday we're just getting in hit after hit from Southwest France. The L'Ostal is no exception. Having a soft-spot for Syrah, I particularly this love Syrah-based blend, rounded it out with Carignan as well as a touch of Grenache and Mouvedre. The Syrah gives the back bone of dark fruit, while the Carignan brings a light rustic touch that you won't find in Southern Rhone Blends. Original and delicious. It's definitely going in my mixed case of under $20 reds I take home every month.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    8/11/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    My first trip to Minervois included a visit to the L'Ostal Cazes property. Situated in the Cru appellation of Minervois La Liviniere, the property sits below the foothills of the Montagne Noire in a region surrounded by the classic garrigue forests of the south of France. Old classical buildings make up the exterior of the estate but since this is a Jean-Michel Cazes property, the interiors are beautifully redesigned with the idea of delivering the purest and most expressive version of the fruit the vines yield. After a brief tour of the winery, my group was treated to a little ride through the property. We did some serious off-roading driving over hills and through creek beds (some full of water from the spring rains) more than once nearly driving off a cliff into one of the surrounding gullies. When we reached a plateau that overlooked the greater part of Minervois, what makes La Liviniere special was revealed. This plateau is made up of deep limestone and marl soils that lift it above the rest of the region. This translates beautifully into the wines. These calcareous soils help preserve the acidity in the grapes for a region that gets a lot of sun intensity and very little rainfall during the growing season. Deliciously ripe but not overwhelmingly so, the "Grand Vin" also picks up the classic garrigue notes of lavendar, thyme and chaparral. Supple black fruit, wild fennel and Mexican chocolate permeate the palate and sweet tannins lead to a long finish. All throughout, acidity provides a spine to the wine keeping it on the fresher side. JM Cazes has given us one of our most pristine examples of a Languedoc red but I expect no less since he is responsible for making Lynch Bages one of the most successful and iconic wines of Pauillac. Expect to hear more great things about his property in the south.
  • Blake Conklin
    By: Blake Conklin
    8/10/2017
    K&L Staff Member
    Smooth, easy drinking, and definitely a nice tasty wine to be poured at dinner parties, and it even makes a nice night cap. With the price and the overall quality of this wine, as far as I'm concerned, this is a 100 point wine right here.

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