Sommelier note: After eruptions of Vesuvius over a millenia ago, many Roman winemakers settled elsewhere. La Livinière (fittingly from the Latin word for ‘vine’) was one of the designated areas for the displaced Romans to plant vines, and it was perfect according to them. Nowadays La Livinière belongs at the top in the Minervois region and appellation, and has it’s own Cru. Domaine Borie de Maurel was created by Michel Escande, who changed his life in 1989 by dropping his passion, which was sailing, and settling with his wife on the mainland. With borrowed money, they bought 5 ha. (12+ acres) of vineyard, a wine cellar and a house. With the tenacity of a sailor and the faith of a peasant farmer, Michel learned about his land, he listened until he understood that he was in possession of a real treasure. This showed from the first cuvées of Sylla which the international press picked up at the beginning of the 90s. After this they re-named him “the wizard of Felines” .
The village La Livinière gained its own Appellation not so long ago, and together with 4 other villages they represent the best of the best in the Minervois. This La Féline cuvée (named from the clay used to make Roman amphora, and the soil in which these vines grow) is made from hand picked, organic grapes (of course) with long maceration on the skins! Good wine takes time. The bottles will be released only when they are drinkable. This 2016 vintage is just in its youth; very spicy in the nose (pepper, cumin) in the mouth deep and fruity with licorice and garrigue, smooth and silky in the aftertaste. Wow! What elegance!