How Good is Borie Blanche Terroirs d’Altitude Minervois?
Wine Review of 2015 Lorgeril Domaine de la Borie Blanche Minervois La Livinière Rouge, Languedoc, France
Nicolas and Miren de Lorgeril, pioneers of the Cabardès AOC in Southern France’s Languedoc wine region, have had a passion for this other “piedmont” of the Montagne Noire where the Mediterranean influence combines with the cooling breezes from the inland Causse (natural non-cultivated landscapes, or garrigue).
In 1999, the winemaking couple fulfilled a dream by purchasing Domaine de la Borie Blanche in the heart of the Minervois.
Since then they have worked hard to bring the best out of this terroir and to reclaim the Causse, planting vines on superb, previously abandoned schist plots in the heart of the garrigue.
This Minervois La Livinière from Domaine de la Borie Blanche, part of the Terroirs d’Altitude series, is a blend Syrah grown on schist (50%), Syrah vinified using the carbonic maceration technique (same winemaking process as for Beaujolais Nouveau wine, for 20% of the total blend), a 10% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre.
Long vinification (20-35 days) in French oak vats (5000 liters), with regular pump overs, before an ageing for 50% in French oak barrels and 50% in vats.
This Languedoc red comes in a dark red color indeed, nearly black to the core, you can hardly see through, and with a dark yet vibrant red color to the rim, neither evolved nor particularly youthful.
The nose is one of a young wine though. Understandably, this IS a young wine, judging by the label of the sample that was sent to me, this was an early sample prepared especially for me. Although this is a 2015, I am tasting it sort of en primeur here, before release on the market at least.
It does smell like a young wine indeed, in the sense that it is still quite introvert, and clearly on the restrained fruity side of things. Ripe blackberry and mixed berry jam are there, slightly shy still at this stage.
Yet, the nose feels warming and welcoming, filled with loads of generous fruit character and spices, peppery notes as well as comforting sweet spices.
A soft and oily palate features soft tannins on a velvety texture, hovering around a sweet/sour sensation, between fruit, clovy spice and oaky caramel vanilla notes, lifted by smoky scents.
A generous Languedoc wine, full of character and contrasts, between ripe fruit generosity, ripe red berry, warming jammy notes and cooked fruit, plenty of authentic spicy character, and well controlled oak.
A precise winemaking creation, reflecting and respecting its terroir.