Once more into France the mighty HSC plunges (and perhaps a few more to come) and this time, we undertake a wine that truly tests The List, both in boundary and in patience somewhat. More on this in a moment, but this, unlike some of the other wines, is not as easily accessible. It is not, in short, a wine for the weak, but rather that proverbial gold nugget in the stream or diamond in the pile of rocks.
As I’ve made mention of numerous times, the HSC methodology involves both a degree of chilling as well as significant airtime. While this wine is a very solid representative of the Bordeaux style of wines, it takes significant air time as well as a much warmer temperatures than several other names on the list, to really open up and shine. Once it does, it becomes a very welcome companion, but the slight chilling and less than hour air time will leave this very bracing and astringent.
On the plus side, you could easily rack this into storage and visit in the future. On the down side, unless you use a decanter, be prepared to wait. The wait is worth it, as this is a very complex offering, at once earthy and comforting in the mouth, delivering notes of slight bitter and leather and some of the darker fruits, perhaps along the lines of dark cherry gracing blueberry and blackberry. It is not overly fruity, in fact, far from it. Most of those notes are more suggestive than there outright and it becomes a lot more refined as it goes on. This is one of the reasons the HSC is so happy with the method noted, as you can really get a grasp on changes and a firmer handle on the wine.
Most of the time, my wife and I are not super interested in a “good things come for those who wait” wine, so this one won’t be a Standard. I don’t recall seeing it on SPA, but this is more of an occasional wine, even if it was on SPA, so that doesn’t factor in. All that’s left is Mixed, which is where this falls.