L'Oustal Blanc, Claude Fonquerle

France, Languedoc, Minervois


Mention Revue du Vin de France



Returning in 2002 to his native Languedoc or more precisely to the vineyards of La Livinière in the Minervois, Claude Fonquerele and his wife Isabel created Domaine de L’Oustal Blanc 8 hectares of vineyards.  Nearly all of their vines are old and head pruned. Fruit is picked by hand and rigorously selected at picking, chilled overnight and then sorted twice more by bunch and berry to finally reach the fermentation vats with complete absence of green matter.  Fermentative skin contact can run for one or two months! At L'Oustal Blanc the aim is to develop a range of wines from indigenous varietals (Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache) that, without losing the specific characteristics of wines of the Languedoc, is nevertheless oriented towards fruit, finesse, purity and complexity.  “While Châteauneuf remains the source of my orientation,” says Claude, “Burgundy is my inspiration. The purity of fruit and the minerality in those wines is something magical. Think of Henri Jayer!” It is no exaggeration to say that this team has already redefined the potential of Minervois, and bottled what are almost certainly the finest and most exciting wines ever grown in that appellation.     L'Oustal Blanc in Occitane means “white house”, which pays homage to Blanche, the owner who allowed Claude and Isabel to set up in her barn that had been shut up for 40 years, and who later allowed them to buy it.  On the label, the triangle symbolizes the stability, aims and determination that they search for their wine production. At the top and in the centre you will find the whirlwind of time passing and along the bottom the lunar calendar, the hand of the vigneron and the arches of the 12th century Romanesque church in La Livinière. Underneath Minervois, the name of the appellation, is a picture of Minerva, an ancient deity in Roman mythology; goddess of wisdom, strategy, intelligence, high thinking, literature, arts, music and patron of craftsmen, as that they are.


Technical Information

Wine Varietals Vine Age Soil Type Farming Type
V.D.F "K" Carignan N/A Marl, gravelly marl, some shale Sustainable
V.D.F. Naïck Blanc 95% Grenache Gris, 5% Macabeu N/A Sustainable
V.D.F. Naïck Rouge 60% Cinsault, 20% Carignan, 20% Syrah and Grenache N/A Marl soils covered with shale and iron rich soils Sustainable
A.O.P. Minervois Rouge "Giocoso" 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan N/A Marl, sandstone marl on hard limestone, sometimes covered with shale Sustainable
A.O.P. Minervois Cru La Livinière Rouge "Prima Donna" 40% Syrah, 60% Grenache N/A Marine limestone and lacustrine limestone Sustainable