One of Glenn and my favorite winemakers at the Boston Wine Expo for the past two years has been Olivier Hillaire. Last year he represented the wines himself; it’s always a real treat to have the winemaker pour you a sample of his creation, especially when the wines are very good. This year we were no less impressed by samples of his 2011 vintage: the entry-level Vin de France; Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes; Châteauneuf-du-Pape; and the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Petits Pieds d’Armand. His limited production of about 12,000 cases per year means that there is not a lot to go around, so when I happened upon the 2008 vintage of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape at The Vin Bin last week, I had to have it.
Aromas of cherry, dust, and stone are the first to entice the nose, followed by floral notes, crushed raspberry, and almond. In addition to the cherry/raspberry fruit flavors, there is an underlying complexity with roast meat, sandalwood, and light toast notes. The palate is fresh and alive with light tannins, medium acidity, medium body, and some bitterness. A lingering finish dominated by kirsch and some hints of mocha. Very good.
At The Vin Bin in Hopkinton for $49.99.