From: Western Languedoc, France
Varietals: 40% Carignan, 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah
Taste: Decadent, juicy, round, and beautifully textured, the 2020 Plaisir d’Eulalie (40% Carignan, 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah) bursts with dark berry and plum fruit flavors, all beautifully wrapped in plush tannins. Dense but smooth on the palate, this pleasurable red wine highlights the sterling quality of old vines from Minervois in the exceptional 2020 vintage. In the glass, you'll find a fantastic balance of savory aromatics, dense fruit, and a lingering finish, replete with a cornucopia of berries, violets, pepper, and garrigue.
Pairing: This wine drinks beautifully now and makes an ideal companion to all kinds of comfort foods. Stews, grilled meats, and flavorful pastas make superb companions to this wine, as do a variety of chicken, beef, lamb, and pork dishes. Pasta with white beans and vegetables; penne pasta with grilled spicy sausages, peppers, and onions; and Chicken Cacciatore over bowtie pasta are some of our favorite companions in the company of Sainte Eulalie’s Plaisir d’Eulalie. With that said, we’re sharing a recipe for David Tanis’ Sausage Rolls. The recipe will take about 2 hours to make & will yield about 24 sausage rolls. It’s a fantastic make-ahead dish to enjoy and share. If you’re vegetarian, you can substitute for meatless sausages - thank goodness they’re so delicious these days!
About,region. Largest Wine-Producer in the Languedoc-Roussillon. Minervois appellation is located on the foothills of the Montagne Noire, straddling the Aude and the Hérault. It stretches for about 60 km from Narbonne’s gates in the east to Carcassonne in the west, and 50 m of altitude on the banks of the Canal du Midi up to 350 meters above the sea level in Cassagnoles, Southern France. This appellation covers 42.50 square kilometers and produces around 18,150,000 liters of wine on average annually.
A Great Site For Vines. The vineyards are located in a climatic zone of Mediterranean type, characterized by hot and dry summers, but remain protected from the Black Mountain’s north winds. Soils are diverse and varied: stony soils, limestone, and shale. The climate also varies on the AOC zone: in the east, the Mediterranean climate is marked by sea winds charged with humidity; to the west, the Atlantic flows are well felt, the center is characterized by an arid environment which remains the hottest area of the vineyards.
Increasingly Aromatic and Refined. The main varieties used are Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. The Minervois AOC produces mainly red wines. These wines with good aging potential are defined as soft and velvety, with silky tannins and ripe fruit aromas. The mouth is full and long. It should be noted that there is also a Vin Noble du Minervois appellation that applies to sweet dessert wines (made from Muscat, Grenache, and Maccabeu). It has a complex mouth, acidity seeking to override sugar, and the alcohol often feature this kind of wine.
The winery. Château Sainte Eulalie has been one of our favorite properties in Languedoc for nearly a decade now. Under the ownership of Laurent and Isabelle Coustal, Château Sainte Eulalie has joined the top echelon of Languedoc producers. This dynamic couple came to the Languedoc to resurrect and restore the ancient Minervois vineyards surrounding the present domaine, including the old vines at Château Eulalie. The Coustals grow Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan, the three traditional and most important grape varietals of Languedoc, on stony terraces high above the village of La Livinière. Château Sainte Eulalie practices organic viticulture and is Certified Sustainable. It has also been awarded the distinction of High Environmental Value from the EU, which rates the entire activity of the producer from vineyard practices to waste water disposal for its overall impact on the environment.
The Coustals serve as viticulturists, winemakers, and artisans in residence at Château Sainte Eulalie. They fashion several organic traditional wines from old vines, including Plaisir d’Eulalie (this month’s feature) and La Cantilène from La Livinière. Both red wines spring from old vines, some as old as a century, from the Languedoc’s most renowned terroirs. In fact, La Livinière has long been regarded as the Languedoc’s finest appellation and since 2018 it has enjoyed official Cru de Languedoc status, the first and only Cru of Languedoc. Plaisir d’Eulalie and La Cantilène are both picked entirely by hand and bottled unfiltered in order to preserve freshness and rich, haunting flavors. After decades of outstanding work at Château Eulalie, the Coustals have earned the reputation as two of the Languedoc’s finest and most consistent winemakers.