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Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (David Schildknecht) / Saint Chinian 2009

2011-06-30 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

In keeping with the warm, stressful conditions of its vintage, Hecht & Bannier 2009 Saint-Chinian – due to be bottled this summer – favors Syrah from chalk-clay rather than schist sites. (Usually, more Syrah from Berlou goes into this blend; this year, it was diverted into the A.O.C. Languedoc bottling.) A chewy streak of tannin such as one won’t usually encounter at this address manages fortunately to meet its match in sheer richness of dark cherry fruit, while undertones of dark chocolate, licorice, and toasted walnut add bittersweet depth that persists in a resonant, baritonal finish. Saline and alkaline mineral notes add interest and invigoration and for all of its richness and emphasis on low-tones, this evinces remarkable buoyancy, no doubt thanks in large part to its alcohol having been held to 13.4%. Look for at least 5-7 years of delight from this. US$22