Domaine Hauvette, Les Baux de Provence 2004 The nose of the ’04 features fresh and dried fruits, floral notes and the herbs of the Provencal landscape.
In the mouth you’ll find structure to marry with dinner and a bit of gamey horse blanket that suggests grilled meats such as venison or lamb. The acidity carries the flavor for a long ride and the tannin has taken on a softer, refined tone.
Domaine Hauvette, Les Baux de Provence 2003 The nose of the ’03 is riper with fruit in a more liqueur-like direction, think of how Cabernet can evoke Cassis. Add a bit of the green herbs of the region and a dash of sweet milk chocolate and you have a nose that is inviting almost 7 years since the fruit was harvested.
The ripeness comes through on the palate, with velvety tannins and expressive fruit. As with the ’03, there is ample acidity extending the experience.
These are elegant examples of the red wines of Provence. While they could both age longer, they are in a very accessible place right now and I would suggest opening up any bottles that you have over the course of this year. I’m planning on firing up the barbecue tonight.
The grapes at the domaine are grown biodynamically over 35 acres on the lower slopes of Les Alpilles. The estate’s red wine features 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are aged in oak for 24 months.
There was a time when Cabernet Sauvignon was taboo in Provence. It’s inclusion in a wine from the region meant that it could not carry an AOC designation. Today the appellation Les Baux de Provence allows for the Cabernet, demonstrating that despite the words of many critics, change in French labeling practices does occur, albeit not as quickly as some would prefer.
Both vintages are mis en bouteille au domaine a St-Remy-de-Provence at 13.5%. The 2004 is sold out but 2003 vintage is available for $35.77 from Cabrini Wines in New York. A media sample.