Monday, February 25, 2008

2004 Chateau Livran

Region: Medoc
Country: France
Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: €6,50
Closure: Cork

Chateau Livran has a very long history with vintages dating back to 1310. During this time the chateau has been owned by a number of famous names including chevalier Arnaud Gargie de Goth (brother of Pope Clement V), Comte d’Armagnac, the De Bordeaux family and the Du Perrier de Larsan family.

The chateau, now owned by the Godfrin family, has some 52 hectares under vine with an average age of around thirty years. I read in another source that the varieties planted in the vineyard are made of merlot (50%), cabernet (35%), and cabernet franc (15%). This is atypical Medoc as the norm would be wines dominated by the cabernet variety. Whether this is totally correct or not I am not sure.

Here is my tasting note:

Ruby red in colour; very clear. The nose is attractive with cherry, smokey bacon and some hints of barnyard. Cherry and some plums along with hints of caramel on a palate that is also quite earthy. After a good start the finish is where this wine lets itself down badly as it just disappears into nothing; some bitter, spicey fruit maybe but very little indeed. Disappointing.


Jens said...

I had the 2005 Cheau. Livran only yesterday; maybe you should A/B it with the 2004: I did not notice a disappointing finish at all. In fact, it was quite lingering. On might note that it may be too early to judge these two vintages along with others in this price class: while the high percentage of Merlot is becoming increasingly common even in Haut-Médoc (Cheaux. d'Arcins and Reysson have incresed the Merlot percentage during the last years to dominance), and is clearly a wise choice in Northern Médoc (A.C. Médoc) with its different soil, Cheau. Livran again struck me as an exceptionally traditional Bordeaux. Not only is it very earthy, as you mentioned (with an interesting nose of forest soil), it also has strong tannins of the kind you do want to remove by aging. A classic "overdrawn tea" claret and a delightful anachronism in this price class.

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