Terroir: Minervois is one of the great appellations of southern France. Situated on the rugged hillsides soaking up the warm Mediterranean sun, the region produces wines of combined elegance and power. This Minervois is sourced from the dry area of Les Mourels and Les Coteaux which extends from Caunes to Aignes, where the wines on slopes grow hand in hand along with the garrigue on sandstone soils, less sensitive to dryness. In the western village of Caunes, Syrah are planted on cooler places which take advantage of the first oceanic influences. Growing on limestone clay soils, Syrah is able to withstand to a dry year thanks to the clayey subsoil water retention capacity.
Vinification: The Hecht et Bannier Minervois is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and a touch of Carignan vinified in a combination of concrete tank, large neutral oak cask and oak barrels.
"Minervois region in 2010 faced difficult climatic conditions: a long and cold winter with a few sunny phases which led to quite a late budding-out, and then a dry and warm summer. In the area, spring was dry with a deficit in rains and the temperatures were below the average. Summer has been widely sunny and the few rain falls in July and August were welcomed. Then came a beautiful Indian summer, with mild weather in September which allowed a good ripening process and the preservation of perfect sanitary conditions until the harvests. In spite of the lack of rain, vines did not suffer that much thanks to water reserves but the production fell down nearly 30% in the whole appellation. Nevertheless, the vintage quality is higher than previous year and offers concentrated, aromatics and deep wines." -Gregory Hecht
Score: 90 PointsQuarterly Review of Wine Author: Michael Apstein
Hecht & Bannier is a high quality ngociant specializing in the wines from the Languedoc. If you ever want to explore how the wines from the different appellations in this part of the South of France differ, pick up bottlings from Hecht & Bannier and taste them side by side. The winemaking style is constant so the difference you taste is the difference between the appellations. Minervois, one of the many appellations in the Languedoc, is known for wines that combine elegance with the ripeness ubiquitous to the region. Stphane Roux, Director of Minervois appellation, attributes the elegance to the winds that continuously rush through the meteorological corridor linking the Atlantic with the Mediterranean, cooling the adjacent hillsides. Whatever the reason, the wines from Minervois seem to have an alluring herbal component that, in this instance, Hecht & Bannier have captured. They have combined the ripe and spicy notes youd expect from the usual Mediterranean blend of Carignan, Syrah and Grenache with a floral aspect that makes this Minervois impossible to resist. Its another ideal choice when you fire up the grill.
"Hecht and Bannier's 2010 Minervois is as usual Syrah-dominated, with Grenache and Carignan (whose levels had yet to be fine-tuned) filling merely supporting roles, and despite my skepticism about the Syrah-centric appellation rules and official politics in this sector of the Languedoc, one has to say that Hecht and Bannier's bottlings make a strong case for that grape. (Mind you, a couple of their sources are growers in the La Liviniere sector whose top bottlings you will find lauded elsewhere in this report who are willing to sell-off some of their juice.) As with this team's 2010 A.O.C. Languedoc blend - and, for that matter, so many other wines of its vintage - this combines the extra measure of glycerin and jam-like touch to its dark cherry and black raspberry fruits that we found in 2009 with a depth of mineral dimension; high-toned herbal inflections (licorice, tamarind, mint); high umami; and lift, vivacity, and infectious juiciness such as characterized 2008. This finishes with real vibrancy."
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