Hegarty Wines is a co-concern of Sir John Hegarty of Bartle Bogle Hegarty. In the field of marketing and communication, Sir Hegarty is already a well known and much celebrated icon. He has even been knighted by the Queen. But stating all this could be like laying the gridwork for the classic fallacy, commonly known as Appeal to Authority. This is when a person reputed for one thing is by default considered good at another. Think of it as Calvin Klein trying to sell cars based on their knowledge of underwear!
The downside for people at the pivotal point of such situations is that everyone else who detects the possible existence of such extended relief of repute suspects a softening of impact on the receiver. As a result they step up the third degree in order to balance the disproportionate merits. In English, as Sir Hegarty is a famous person, wine critics would feel that general unsuspecting wine-drinking masses would allow him more leeway with his wines. Hence these same wine critics, seeing themselves as the (often unwa-(rra)-nted) purveyors of quality and the servers of vinous justice in their Cabernet-hued capes would feel the need to judge his wines with ever so much extra scrutiny. In short, the wines would have made enemies even before being bottled.
But John has probably seen this coming. He doesn’t speak much but his words weigh you down like anchors of wisdom; with each trickling syllable you seem to wake up a smarter person. If I were him, I’d charge people to listen to me. This time, he lets the wines do all the talking. This is what these two lovely bottles from Chamans-Hegarty told the Wi-Not team at one of our Anti-Monday-Morning-Blues 10am tastings.
From the visuals itself the wines start a narrative. The ubiquitous Black Sheep is present, as if pointing to some sort of a rebellionwaiting to be uncorked. The winery is a proponent of Biodynamic Viticulture which can be described as a holistic approach to work in accordance with the universe, its constant energies, and the idea of finding an equilibrium in-between. Thus, chemicals are not used at any stage at all. Sir Hegarty put it in an easy-to-understand way: Biodynamic viticulture vs. commercial viticulture is like judo vs. boxing. Judo utilises the weight of the opponent to win whereas boxing is all about punching aggressively to inflict serious (long-term) damage.
The wines come from Minervois, located in the Languedoc-Roussillon appellation of South of France. Marsanne, Rousanne, Chenin
Blanc, Viognier, Grenache, and Syrah are some of the grapes the vineyards feature here. The vineyards are kept small as this allows them to keep a personal check on them and consequently control the quality.
2008 Hegarty Marsanne Rousanne, Minervois, France
The wine carries a clear deep lemon hue with signs of age and maturity. It shows hints of developing aromas which are quite complex even while still a tad young and closed. Mineral, fleshy white fruits, tad leafy, hint of spices (turmeric), and some earthy notes up-front and sweet notes of figs, and dried gooseberries (Amla) follow. A clean dry wine with a harmonious balance between acidity, alcohol, body, and the flavour intensity. Presence of chalky character on the palate adds quite an element to the wine. It is a complex and well-structured produce and develops further appreciating notes if left to rest for a while. It was not easy to get off this wine and move on.
2008 Hegarty Grenache Mourvedre Cinsault, Minervois, France
The wine has a deep colour indicating modest extraction and youthfulness of age. The wine was a bit shut and required some airing and breathing. The aromas were pronounced, multi-layered and thus could aptly be considered complex. The notes included fresh spices (cinnamon and cloves), dark cherries, quince paste, earth, and some oaky touches. On the palate it was a good punch at once that became mellow overtime. The tannins were impressive in their strength and yet soothing in their elegance. The taste seemed more fruity than spicy. Oak aging has bonded the wine well together and provided a nice edge. A seamless complex wine with good balance and varietal character. It‘ll make an envying couple with grilled red meat and spicy Indian curries. Best to decant it an hour before serving.
Overall the wines were much liked and appreciated. Lame as it may sound, they were truly different. And we had done our best to discount any awe that is normal to be held towards a man who has knelt before the Queen. From labels to the last drop, it was all pleasure. Magan said, “ Mesmerising!”