Laurent and Isabelle Coustal have again outdone themselves by fashioning the finest Château Sainte Eulalie Plaisir d’Eulalie Minervois to date in 2018. Plump, juicy, round, and beautifully textured, the 2018 Plaisir d’Eulalie bursts with raspberry and plum fruit flavors, which come wrapped in silky tannins. Dense but smooth on the palate, the 2018 Plaisir d’Eulalie highlights the sterling quality of old vines from Minervois in a vintage as splendid as 2018. The 2018 Plaisir d’Eulalie captures all of the senses with its vibrant deep red robe, its savory aromatics, rich fruit, and elegant long-lasting finish replete with delightful touches of berries, violets, pepper, and spice. For those looking for a mouthful of beautiful fruit and a taste of one of the finest traditional country wines of France from that country’s oldest wine producing region, there is no better offering than Château Sainte Eulalie’s 2018 Plaisir d’Eulalie. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording the charming 2018 Plaisir d’Eulalie a few minutes of aeration before serving at cool room temperature (58º-62º F). Salut!
Especially jubilant and brimming with flavor, the 2018 Château Sainte Eulalie Plaisir d’Eulalie Minervois drinks beautifully now with little or no accompaniments. However, one is hard-pressed to find a better wine to bring to table than the 2018 Plaisir. 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. Each of these dishes complements the sensual fruit of the 2018 Château Sainte Eulalie Plaisir. Roast pork tenderloin served with an herb encrusted black olive tapenade provides another splendid companion. Traditional Mediterranean favorites such as ratatouille, Eggplant or Zucchini Parmigiana, lasagna, and of course all kinds of pizzas make fine accompaniments to this wine. Most dishes made with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and wild mushrooms are good bets, too. Salami, pepperoni, soppressata, and other smoked meats offer additional simple but tasty pairings, especially in the company of aged hard cheeses. Enjoy!
For more than a decade, Château Sainte Eulalie has been a one of our favorite properties in Languedoc. 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 Sainte 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 – a very difficult and highly coveted distinction.
The Coustals serve as winemakers and artisans in residence at Château Sainte Eulalie. They farm organically and fashion several 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 it has recently been awarded official Cru de Languedoc status. La 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 more than a decade of outstanding work at Château Sainte Eulalie, the Coustals have earned their reputation as two of the Languedoc’s finest and most consistent winemakers.
Languedoc is the world’s largest single viticultural area, encompassing many appellations and distinctive sub regions – all of which are capable of producing fine wine. This sprawling viticultural wonderland stretches all the way from the Spanish border in the southwest, within sight of the towering Pyrenees, to the banks of the Rhône River far to the northeast. Languedoc cuts a huge swath of dry coastal plain and sheltered mountains from which flow the guts and the glory of French viticulture.
The Languedoc, whose name is synonymous with the language of southern France, was the first part of ancient Gaul to be extensively planted to the vine and has remained extensively cultivated for millennia. Since the 1970s, a true viticultural Renaissance has been sweeping the Languedoc and the results are nowhere more apparent than in the favored appellation of Minervois.
Château Sainte Eulalie’s 2018 Plaisir d’Eulalie Minervois is a natural with many types of cow, goat and sheep’s milk cheeses. Pecorino, Brie, and Chèvre all pair beautifully with Isabelle and Laurent Coustal’s outstanding 2018 Plaisir d’Eulalie. Add toasted walnuts to the cheese selection and you’ll almost certainly need to have more than one bottle of Château Eulalie’s Plaisir on hand. For more specific wine and cheese pairings or to discover more of the world’s finest cheeses, visit us at www.cheesemonthclub.com.
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