Take it to the Maximus

Maximiana – Minervois La Liviniere – 2008 – Avery’s.

Le Château Massamier La Mignarde, is a 70 hectaire vineyard nestled at the foot of the Montagne Noir, close to the historic town of Minerve. During the time of the Roman Empire a Legionnaire named Maximus set up camp in a Villa, he gave this the name Maximiana which is now Massamier.

The Vineyard is run by Frantz Vénes who Inherited the business from his parents, who themselves have made wine here for generations. This region is famous for the production of wines with character and body, it’s a region steeped in history with links to the old Occitan traditions, legends are abound with tales of Cathar strongholds and mysterious clandestine communities hiding secrets and treasure.  The people of this region, in particular Frantz, are passionate about their history and are involved heavily in the resurgence of the Occitan ways associated with the region. He can also make an excellent drop of wine!

Minervois La Liviniere is the Grand Cru of the region and is only recognised with wines produced from the best terroir, the resulting wines have an enormous complexity and length, so much so the Chateau Massamier won the Best red wine in the world in 2005.

This 2008 vintage is certainly a great example of what can be achieved. To the eye this is a beautiful almost opaque ruby colour. This wine has legs, muscular and strong at that – with 15% Alcohol it’s not hard to be slightly afraid. However, on the nose this wine gives a wonderful rich bouquet of blackberry and red cherry, there is sweet spice to match and a beautiful hint of cassis. Just a quick slurp gives way to a taste explosion, there are notes of cedar, blackcurrant, cherry, cassis and coco, hints of leather and coffee are also present with a faint whiff of tobacco and garrigue. The finish is very long and the balance of acidity tannin and alcohol is perfect. This wine is amongst my favourites, it’s a perfect representation of the terroir of Minervois and demonstates impeccable manners. Suited to Strong Cheeses and big game flavours this wine will never disappoint. Very much like the region it has a magical charm that draws you back time and time again. And people ask what did the romans do for us?

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