Sainte Croix is a small, organic vineyard in the High Corbières hills, on the border between Languedoc and Roussillon, established by Jon and Liz Bowen in 2004.

Before setting up, Jon worked as a caviste in the UK but felt he was passionate about what went into the bottle ; the stories, people, places, traditions. . . After studying viticulture and oenology, he worked in California, Victoria (AUS), Touraine, Beaujolais and the Languedoc. Liz has a degree in Agricultural Economics, which had remained unused until together they decided to take the leap of setting up in the Languedoc. A selection of century-old vineyards on limestone provided the raw materiel for their project.

The environmental dimension to being farmers is essential to Jon and Liz, so naturally the 11 hectares of vines are certified organic (Ecocert, 2008). Their hand-picked wines are made with minimum intervention, out of respect for the both environment and consumer, and also to achieve the highest expression of the sensational terroirs of the domaine.

Equally, their techniques in vineyard and winery have always been dynamic and avant-garde, such as the planting of diverse cover crops, the use of Carignan and other ancient varieties in a modern context, or re-creating age-old Rancio wines. Since the beginning, the white, red and sweet wines of Sainte Croix have regularly received great press, from top French and international journalists; all the more rewarding for having chosen to avoid fashion and stay true to their own goals.

RVF (Caroline Furstoss) – ‘la volonté d’expérimenter nous impressionne très favorablement’

La Serre – ”une bouche toute en volume et vivacité. 90/100”

Magneric – “onctueux (et) doté d’un fruit rouge pulpeux et d’une finale poivrée. 90/100“

Carignan – “structuré et profond . . . allié à la fraîcheur. 91/100”

Celèstra – “vin digeste à la texture de velours et à l’éclat du fruit séducteur. 91/100”

 

  • LONELY PLANET WINE TRAILS (John Brunton) “adventurous English winemaker (makes) organic wines of strong identity . . . in this anarchic garage winery”
  • JANCIS ROBINSON (Tamlyn Currin)

Le Fournas –“If coal and eucalyptus could be pressed and sliced thinly, that would be what balances the ripe mulberry fruit. Lip-smackingly scrumptious.”17

Pourboire – “rudely fruity, ripe blackberry fruit on the palate.. Lovely wet-slate and green-peppercorn texture. . .”16,5

Magneric – “Spicy . . . with finely astringent, muscular tannins astride gorgeously dark, shadow-and-tar-touched fruit” 17

Carignan – “dark chocolate and raspberries on the nose. Blackcurrants and smoky sage and eucalyptus and very very dark cocoa.” 16,5++

Celèstra – “Crushed rocks, blackcurrant bud, deeply sweet, intense, ripe, wild bramble berries. Gorgeous, heart-stopping Corbières” 17,5

 

  • WINE ANORAK (Jamie Goode) –

La Serre – “Beautifully fresh, precise, mineral and saline. . . bright and linear, but also has complexity 94/100”

Le Fournas – “A very complete wine of real seriousness. 94/100”

Magneric – “Grainy and supple with a nice spicy bite and lovely focus. 93/100”

Carignan – “Fresh, vivid, stony and gravelly with lovely lush black cherry fruit held in savoury tension with notes of minerals and tar and blood. 94/100”

Celèstra – “black fruits, which are accompanied by floral black cherries, a bit of liquorice, and good tannins. 92/100”