Unmistakably South France from the first sniff. There’s a classic *coarseness* to these wines hard to ignore–even in 2022. But this definitely raises the bar in terms of *polish* and *modernity*. Black ruby and non-staining, a gritty, muddy, pond-water warm-weather murkiness invades the nose, piquant with compost and barnyard: drippy faucets and muddy puddles. A sort of pretzel-ly fresh-baked coats the ripe fruit, chubby and bourbon-y in bouquet, weedy briar laid down on dark cherry with plenty of complex nuances.
Fans of Puech-Haut will know this is the first bottling under true “estate” labeling… This wine has been around for a considerable time, but French law forced this move and everything is uphill from here!
Tasting it solidifies Languedoc-Roussillon fantasies, but reality conflicts with expectation in the cleanest of ways. Feeling FAR more Southern-Rhone in nature, along with fairly expressive oak and plenty of CdP hints. Blind–in a Rhone line-up–I think it would blend in quite nicely, and is priced at HALF of what you would expect for CdP in its league. The cherry dusty and tapenade-coated; the blackberry August-ripe and dripping; the Grenache component chubby against Syrah; the whole thing mired in ridiculous spice, considerable alcoholic heat, and plentiful crisp floral hints. An absolutely BRILLIANT wine, the length and breadth of which boggles the palate. But it’s a warm bruiser, kissing that 30-proof mark with unabashed energy while calming all in plentiful elegance.
2017 CHATEAU PUECH-HAUT LAVABRE ‘La Closierie’ SY/GR/MV 60/30/10 Pic St-Loup Languedoc AOP 15.0