Domaine L'Hortus Red Grande Cuvee 2009, Languedoc Roussillon, France
The very special terroir, which forms a balcony to the Cevennes Hills, is located 24 km north of Montpellier, situated below what can best be described as ‘scree slopes’ Behind the drama and the dazzling whiteness of the limestone, there is superb terroir here, skillfully expolited in a series of wines which play to the tune of tradition and nurture the best possible results from the indigenous grapes of the area. The results are wines of great polish and personality.
The Hortus Grande Cuvée Rouge is dominated by Grenache and Mourvèdre, in equal shareholdings, with 10% Syrah making up the balance. The grapes are aged, after assemblage, in Allier oak barrels, 2/3 of which are new, for a period of sixteen months. 2008 is a softer, more approachable vintage then both 2007 and 2009; the wine succeeds because the Mourvèdre has not been allowed to dominate and, in its place we are treated to gregarious ripeness of old vine Grenache, allied to an almost chalky minerality both of which foster elegance and an harmonious structure. Hints of pepper, charcuterie and even dried flowers add further resonance to the dark fruit descriptors.