Christophe Blanc is the dynamic, young (late 30s) owner and winemaker behind Domaine de Montpezat. This southern French estate is southwest of Montpellier and close to the Mediterranean coast. Christophe Blanc harvests late in the season around mid-October, three to four weeks later that most other producers in the region. For the Prestige Cuvee, he blended Cabernet with Syrah. The wine was aged for approximately a year in a high proportion of new oak, contributing intense, smoky, toasty notes to complement the dark-berried fruit flavors. As our comments above indicate, we were tremendously impressed with everything this wine has to offer: dark color, intense aroma, full body, and a long, memorable aftertaste. It's drinkable now, yet this wine will likely be at its prime from 2005-2008. Robert Kacher is one of Americas leading importers of small, handcrafted French wines.