Don’t you just hate it when that happens . . .

Hegarty Chamans Cuvee no1 2005

Wonder what cuvees no.2 and 3 taste like?

Have you ever had this frustrating experience? The discovery of a rare jewel, a wonderful wine that gets the saliva flowing and the tastebuds quivering, and you uncharacteristically bought only one bottle. With the last drop drained, thoughts of re-ordering awaken, only to find . . . sold out!

So it seems is the fate with this very fine Minervois cuvee, from advertising mogul Sir John Hegarty’s estate in the Languedoc.

First impressions were really quite pongy – I’m actually quite partial to a bit of “bottle stink”, being the slightly sulphurous, sometimes rather farmyard-like aroma that a bottle gives off just after opening. It generally seems to hail a wine of intent and maturity, which is more than OK by me. But the real prize with this wine was what happened to the nose after about an hour – a spellbindingly sweet and delicate mix of cinnamon and clove, in amongst the smokey, dark fruit.

It’s really nice to find a “premium cuvee” like the 2005 Hegarty Chamans No. 1, where both the alchohol level (13.5%) and oak have been held in check. This is a beautifully balanced effort, with freshness and structure, but no rough edges – 6 years in bottle and this is still hefty, but drinking perfectly. I loved the leathery, cooked prune flavours, and the considerable length.

Since Naked Wines (from whom I came by this sole bottle) are long since sold out, I am now seriously considering going and banging on the door of “Domaine de Chamans” to see if they have a private stash of the 2005 they’d be willing to part with. Or of course, I could take a chance on the 2004 (still apparently available from Adnams). Stay tuned . . .

 

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    • Simon Woolf

      Apparently there is more of this very fine wine at the vineyard, and Samuel Berger assures me some of it will be winging its way to the good ship Naked. I can’t wait!