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, 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, sailing, and settling with his wife on the mainland. They bought, with borrowed money, 5 ha. 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” .
Here, in the altitude of the hillsides of the Montagne Noire, Michel had a great idea: he planted Chardonnay! Over here,with the altitude, soil structure of white rocks and minerals, and northern slopes tucked away from the summer heat during the day, he had a style of wine in mind like Chablis with crispness, acidity and minerality. Michel was right! This is one of the most stunning Chardonnay wines outside Burgundy I have ever tasted. You wouldn’t believe it was grown in the South of France! This wine has a nice attack with zesty, fruity aromas, and tickles your senses. As it evolves, the wine is smooth and rich without being heavy. Refill my glass please!