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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    One thought on “Don’t you just hate it when that happens . . .

    1. 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!

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