Hecht & Bannier Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2008
Other Red Blends from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
#47 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
Grenache from Roussillon is fine, juicy, elegant and offers us an extraordinary aromatic pallet allied with a delicious velvety consistency. We easily find the difference with the expressions of Grenache from Rhône Valley or Spanish Cataluña. Higher situated, the vineyards take benefit from the important range of temperature between day and night which guarantees both maturity and balance.
The Wine Advocate - "The Hecht & Bannier 2008 Cotes du Roussillon Villages displays the vibratory kinetics; abundance of vivacious fruit - yet here possessed of almost liqueur-like sweetness; and complexity of mineral elements that one has come to associate with the best wines of this vintage. Lily and heliotrope mingle with the aromas of ripe black raspberry, blackberry can cassis, then offer persistent inner-mouth allure as the sweet berry concentrate saturates the palate while mouthwatering salinity and schistic crushed-stone and peat-like smokiness build in intensity toward a finish the displays - for all of its richness - the remarkable sense of levity and vibrancy that is often attributed to the alleged miracle of chalky soils such as characterize Vingrau. This much though is sure: You don't have to believe in the efficacy of geological underpinnings to recognize the dazzling complexity and uncanny balance on display here. This phenomenal value should make for riveting entertainment over at least the next 5-7 years, and probably - though the track record is only now accumulating - for significantly longer."
Wine Spectator - "This ripe, suave red, delivers a full blush of luscious red fruit flavors and silky spicy notes. Broad midpalate with a powerful, chocolate filled finish that features notes of toffee, and cream."
Hecht & Bannier Winery
Formed in 2002, Hecht & Bannier makes wines intended to become reference points for the Languedoc-Roussillon, France’s largest and most confounding winemaking region. Founders Gregory Hecht and François Bannier: “To conserve the typical Mediterranean strength in our wines while preserving balance and crispness, this is our mantra for all the appellations we produce.” View all Hecht & Bannier Wines
About Languedoc-Roussillon(LAHN-guh-dock) (ROO-see-yohn) France. The region stretches along the land above the Mediterranean, bordered by the Rhone river on the east and almost reaching Spain on the west. Only 10% of the wines from the area are AC, with the remaining wines often landing in the Vin de Pays or Vin de Table category. Wines in the Vin de Pays category are classified here as Vin de Pays d'Oc.
Notable Facts80% of the wines here are red. The grapes of the neighboring Rhone region are popular, with the focus on Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut and to a lesser extent, Carignan. White grapes include Rousanne, Marsanne, Clairette and other white Rhone varieties. Parts of the region are also enjoying success with international varieties like Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. For many of these international style wines, you'll see the grape variety on the label – very un-French, but since they qualify as Vin de Pays d'Oc, it's allowed. Not so for the AC wines of the region, which are relegated to using most of the regional varieties and labeling their bottles by region. Appellations in the Languedoc include Corbières, Minervois, Costières de Nimes, Banyuls and the largest of them all, Coteaux de Languedoc. Corbières and Minervois are found on the western side of the region and produce sometimes very concentrated red wines. Costières de Nimes lies just southwest of the Rhone and produces wines of comparable character. Banyuls creates decadent fortified wines with Grenache and Coteaux de Langeudoc does triple duty, using international and regional grapes to produce white, red and rose wines that are often fantastic values.
RoussillonA region located between the Spanish border and Languedoc, Roussillon is often mentioned in conjunction with Languedoc, but is an entirely separate, albeit smaller, area. Producing white, red and rose wines, Roussillon is in the Catalonia region, which bleeds into Spain and France. The area has equal amount of Spanish influence as it does French. It is most well-known for Banyuls, a potent dessert wine made from concentrated old-vine Grenache. Vines are old and planted on steep, rocky, terraced hillsides overlooking the coast. The region is also making still wines, mostly from Grenache but with a good amount of Carignan as well.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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