Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (David Schildknecht) / Saint Chinian 2010

2011-06-30 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Tasted as a definitive blend although the actual assemblage would not take place for months and bottling not until mid-2012, Hecht & Bannier’s 2010 Saint-Chinian represents a felicitous marriage of virtually all of their sources (which are far fewer for this appellation than for their Minervois) of dominant Syrah – on both schist and chalk-clay – with Grenache and small amounts of Mourvedre and Carignan. High-toned kirsch, framboise, and cassis distillates seem to shadow the ripe fresh berries from the nose all the way through a sappily-concentrated, subtly silken mid-palate to an effusively juicy, uplifting finish. Along the way, inflections of crushed stone, smoky black tea, resinous herbs, licorice, and juniper better contribute to a rivetingly dynamic interplay whose finish will leave your tongue fluttering and your salivary glands pumping overtime. I’ve noted on several occasions this talented team’s ability to meet expectations set by the finest estates in each appellation with which they work, but in all fairness to the finest bottling growers in Saint-Chinian (whose numbers could use boosting), who makes any more complex or convincing wine from this appellation today than the wine I have in my glass? What’s more, here’s betting this will remain glorious for a better part of a decade, if not beyond. US$22