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, which forces 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 Mourvèdre 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. Filled with brambly fruit flavors, peppery spices, and supple velvety tannins.
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