Friday, July 29, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ Hecht & Bannier Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Languedoc, France, 2008 - GOOD VALUE

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By way of background, opening thoughts: Here we are sampling a grenache-based blend from the Languedoc region of France.


Original tasting and review : This is Hecht & Bannier Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Languedoc, France, 2008, made from a blend of barrel-aged grenache, syrah, carignan and mourvedre, finished at 15.% alcohol.

In the glass:  Hecht & Bannier Cotes du Roussillon Villages shows as almost-black red/purple ink, opaque from about a quarter inch in from the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows sweet, earthy and deep red and black cherries.  Elements of inky plums too.  From the aroma, seems like this will be deep, layered and complex.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact both bright and gripping in the mouth.  Your jaws are pulled together by the sheer power of the bright fruit.  The brightness is a surprise after the sultry, deep aroma. Acids, tannins and very dry red cherry fruit play off well against each other.  A balanced blend of these makes its way to the long finish too.  There is definitely something substantial happening in here.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a big plus for some kind of serious future potential - we'll try both decanting and age.   Good value.  Following long decant, four hours at room temperature in flat-bottomed decanter:  The nose seems more shy, now black cherries.  Balanced, savory, big and bright on the palate.  Red berries and fine grit.  Almost tilting the charts at four stars now, but falling just a sliver shy. And even longer decant, a full day: Shy nose, lightly oxidized.  Quite consistent lively sweet red experience on the palate.

Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator agreed on big scores, offering 93 and 92 points respectively. WS said, "This ripe, suave red, delivers a full blush of luscious red fruit flavors and silky spicy notes"

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