Because their source (since 2008) of Syrah for this bottling was shredded by hail in this vintage, Hecht & Bannier’s 2011 Cotes du Roussillon Villages is informed by Syrah from the same high elevation, gneiss and granite sites in Belesta and Caramany where they regularly buy Carignan, these aforementioned grapes being blended with roughly half Grenache and Lledoner Pelut from the chalk and schist sites in Maury, Vingrau and Tautavel as well as a smidgeon of Mourvedre. As such – and considering that ten growers are represented – this constitutes one of the two most complicated of Hecht & Bannier’s blends, and its success speaks to the care with which these two strategize their sourcing. Very ripe, yet juicy and bright black raspberry is tinged with bitter-edged, resinous herbs and incisive black pepper. The persistent finish here is not quite as sweetly ripe or savory as has been the case with some renditions of this bottling, but time may well add complexity. Its authors compare this 2011 with their 2008, a remarkable wine by any standards (and an extraordinary value) that I lauded in issue 195. If they’re right, then this 2011 has a long way to travel yet in bottle. But at the very least it will remain a delight and offer excellent value through 2016.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (David Schildknecht) / Côtes du Roussillon Villages 20112014-01-31 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate