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Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (David Schildknecht) / Faugères 2007

2009-06-30 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

From Syrah and Mourvedre grown on pure schist, Hecht and Bannier’s 2007 Faugeres – like its predecessors – will spend close to two years in demi-muid. “Every year,” remarks Bannier, “we have this question about how far we can go into Mourvedre,” and thus far the answer appears to have been “ever deeper.” The trick to maintaining balance with this grape, he says, lies in significant part in selecting fruit grown at higher-elevation, and it is a trick the two have clearly managed with aplomb. Hints of coconut and caramel complement aromas of very ripe black fruits, but intensely pungent, resinous, scrubby herbs and roasted meats vie for attention. Concentrated blackberry and elderberry assume an almost doughy substantiality on the palate, and brown spices and rich nut oils mingle with the deep, savory meatiness and stony low-tones. This really expands and intensifies as it reaches a finish of riveting length. There is more superficial sweetness of fruit here than with other Hecht & Bannier releases, but at the same time more (still finely tannic) structure, more energy, and more intense carnal and mineral elements. I would plan on following this little masterpiece for 8-10 years. (The inaugural 2001 is outstanding today.) Too bad there are only destined to be 200-300 cases a year of this cuvee, a tiny fraction of the production of Hecht & Bannier’s other wine. US$35