Faugères is perhaps the most quality-orientated sub-region of the Languedoc, lying in the foothills of the Cévennes and blessed with a uniquely high proportion of sloping, schist-soiled vineyards. The slopes provide great drainage and optimal exposure to the sun throughout the day while the schist both promotes drainage and retains heat well into the night during summer, producing wines with a relatively high pH, which still manage to retain a distinct thread of mineral freshness. A combination of power and finesse is the hallmark of wines from this region. Variations of this soil type are found in many of the great wine-producing regions of the world, such as Priorat and the Mosel.
Bernard Vidal of Château de La Liquière is, in fact, President of the international group “Terroirs des Schistes”. The Vidal family have been growing vines since the 16th century and at Chateau de La Liquière were instrumental in promoting the Languedoc as a source of high quality wines in the 1960s. Indeed this was one of the producers that really put the appellation of Faugères on the map and the first in the region to bottle their own wines. Today Château de La Liquière remains one of the very best producers of this great appellation.
This 60 hectare domaine is now fully certified organic with natural composts and treatments used in the vineyard and hand-harvesting the norm. Two wineries are on the estate: one traditionally equipped with underground vats and one more modern and functional. Both are gravity-fed, allowing for minimal disturbance of the wine and must.
Their Cistus is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre from old vines. 60% matured in 500-litre barrels, with the rest in tank, it's a superb red full of blackberry, espresso, dark chocolate, black olive. Deep and rich but also beautifully balanced and silky-textured. A really top quality expression of the Languedoc.