Domaine de l'Hortus Pic St-Loup Rouge Coteaux du Languedoc 2005
"The l’Hortus 2005 Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint-Loup Grande Cuvee red reflects a stressfully hot summer, says Orliac, but happily here, he claims, the rains fell right between the white and red grape harvests. Black raspberry, resinous herbs, and wood smoke in the nose lead to a juicy and surprisingly tart-edged black fruit character on the palate, with singed yet bloody meat undertones, slightly detached tannins, and some superficial suggestion of toasted oak by way of coconut and vanilla. An impressive suggestion of wet stone adds to the strong finish of black fruits and meat. This athletically lean wine displays some of the clarity promised by the 2007, if without quite that wine’s rich depth or its alluring creaminess of texture. Domaine de l’Hortus’s dramatic location up against the cliffs of the Hortus and Pic Saint-Loup massifs themselves and offering shallow terraces with exposures ranging from north-facing for whites and Syrah (some propagated from Clape and Verset budwood) to south-facing for Mourvedre (from Tempier), sets it apart from other properties in its sub-appellation, and Languedoc pioneer Jean Orliac brings an unprecedented three decades of familiarity with this rocky realm of scree and iron- and quartzite-rich limestone. The striking timber winery reminds me of California, as does the adventurous and open-minded spirit Orliac and his enthusiastic, family-dominated team bring to their work. Since 2000, the Orliacs have farmed and bottled the fruits of Clos du Prieur (under its own label), a property at Saint-Jean de Bueges in the Terraces du Larazac, similarly situated up against a prominent massif...91" WA 6/09
Nice to visit. In a stunning region of France the wine makery and vinyard are situated just of the main road. The tasting room is above the botteling line, which gives a true feeling of authenticity.