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The Powerful and Smokey 2007 Chateau l’Hospitalet

During my last trip to Seattle I purchased two wines from Champion Wine Cellars.  Having recently reviewed the 2007 Mas de Gourgonnier, Reserve du Mas I thought I would feature this bottle of Chateau l’Hospitalet.  l’Hospitalet was first mentioned in the mid-16th century.  The monks of the Hospice of Narbonne grew vines on the estate.  In 1991 the Ribourels family restored the chateau and developed the vineyard.  A year later Gerard Bertrand started a winemaking business having recently retired from playing rugby.   In 2002 Gerard Bertrand purchased the estate and today owns five individual estates.  Chateau l’Hospitalet has some 80 hectares of vines set amongst 1000 hectares of scrubland along the Mediterranean.  I normally mind overt barrel smoke in my wine but this bottle revealed smoked meats which actually worked with the strong nature of the wine.  Though a few Dollars more than I would like to spend it is nevertheless a rather solid wine which should soon offer peak drinking.

2007 Chateau l’Hospitalet, La Reserve, La Clape, Languedoc – $19
Imported by USA Wine West.  This wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 30% Mourvedre which was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels.  The medium+ nose reveals good berries, herbs, perfume, and eventually black cherry.  With air there are aromas of grilled, smoked meats.  In the mouth there is generous texture at first before it rounds out with blue fruit, wood box, and smoke in the finish.  There are lightly ripe, drying tannins.  There is a watery softness and flavors of savory, smoked bacon in the aftertaste.  There is a sense of ready power just waiting to let loose.  **(*) 2015-2019.

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