Teresa d'Hachene - A discovery at the Decanter World Wine Awards
The results of the Decanter World Wine Awards are published and last week Decanter hosted a tasting of a selection of the medal winners. I think the selection was a bit hit and miss, and depended solely on who was prepared to contribute their wines. Certainly I was hoping for a much bigger selection from the Languedoc, and an opportunity to taste some of the wines selected by my fellow panel chair, the French journalist Bernard Butschy. From that point of view, I was disappointed. There was just one lone Languedoc wine on a table of Syrah from around the world, so alongside wines from the Maremma, Macedonia, Portugal and Spain. But this lone wine was a real discovery, from a new estate, Terres d’Hachene, and from their first vintage, 2010. It was their Cuvée Ilex, a Pays de Cevennes.
Terres d’Hachene is outside the village of St. Nazaire-des-Gardies in the Gard, and very much off the beaten track, especially if your particular bit of the Languedoc is well west of Montpellier, as mine is. Looking at their web site, they make four Pays de Cevennes, and this Cuvée Ilex, is an unusual blend 51% Syrah, 26% Petit Verdot and 23% Grenache Noir. Not that many people have Petit Verdot in the Languedoc; racking my brains the only person I could think of is Marc Benin at Domaine de Ravanès in the Coteaux du Murviel. The wine was rich and complex, with a deep colour and quite a powerful spicy nose, and on the palate it had rounded fruit and supple tannins, making for a very attractive balance. I think the Petit Verdot adds extra richness and weight, but rather masked any pepperiness of the Syrah. I was told that it had spent 18 months in barriques, from Taransaud and that 2010 was the very first vintage. What a debut. It was a delicious and successful harmonious blend. Unfortunately the crowd at the tasting did not allow for more questions, so I am promising myself a visit before too long.