Puech-Haut’s 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc Saint-Drezery Quercus – named for a prominent oak tree at this spot in their vineyards, not for oak employed in elevage – represents their exploration of pure Grenache, vinified without de-stemming. Violet and rose petal mingle with scents of strawberry and black raspberry preserves, whose sweet juices richly and caressingly coat the palate, tinged with tamarind and licorice and underlain by a saliva-inducing impression of salted roast meat pan drippings such as I would more have expected from a Syrah- or Mourvedre-dominated cuvee. What’s more, there is a faintly but insistently tart edge to the berries here that offers a sense of excitation. That said, these virtues have to work against considerable sense of alcoholic heat in an otherwise luxuriant finish, even though we’re dealing here with a grape in general notoriously welcoming of high must weights. It should be fascinating to see how this develops over the next several years, but I’m not going to try to handicap it beyond then until I see for myself.
Chateau Puech-HautView all wine
The story of Château Puech-Haut is interesting, as is that of Gérard BRU, the owner. An ex-industrialist who, starting from nothing, created a business of 500 employees and a personal fortune.