Chateau La Croix Martelle La Reserve de Sirus 2001
Cinsault (40%), Syrah (25%), Grenache (23%), Mourvèdre (12%)
In the heart of the Minervois, on the gentle lower slopes of the lesser Causse, lie the vineyards of Minervois La Livinière. This is a new AOC created in 1999 and comprising six communes including Siran. Its climate, and its soils (part limestone marls and hard limestones, ideal for the Mourvèdre and Grenache grapes, and part schists and red marls best for Syrah), make for a wine that is truly out of the ordinary and unique to this place.
Siran, which lies in the heart of this terroir, derives its name from a Gallo-Roman villa belonging to Sirus. Very probably he was one of the legionnaries of Domitius Aenobarbus whose exemplary conduct was rewarded by a grant of land. Local history tells us that Sirus settled here nearby a Roman road linking Narbonne to Castres, linking the lowlands to the mountains. On days when the weather conditions are just right, the distant Mediterranean and the snow-capped Pyrenees can be seen from the top of Pic Saint-Martin with, nearer to hand, the castle of La Croix Martelle.
An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good quality and great values, Languedoc spans the Mediterranean coast from the Pyrenees mountains of Roussillon all the way to the Rhône Valley. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and frequent risk of drought.
Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Most dry wines are blends with varietal choice strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Macabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc.
International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.