Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bodegas Castano 2005 Hecula (Spain)

Last week I posted a piece on the Ottawa Life blog about the new 2009 Hecula that's in the LCBO now ... I mentioned that it was a great buy for what you get ... then I looked into my own cellar and noticed I have a bottle dating back to 2003, but that's not the one I decided to open on this night (give me a week or two and curiosity will get the better of me) instead it was the 2005 Hecula that caught my attention first (probably because I have a back up bottle).  At first sniff and sip I found the wine a little tight (still?) or maybe it had just become all wooden in character:  there were signs of dark berry (blackberry) and hints of cedar and roasted coffee beans ... that cedar seemed to intensify in the first half hour until it was all you could smell ... but the palate didn't show these signs, instead in had licorice, spice and cassis flowing freely on the tongue.  Now here's where things turned wonky.  After about half an hour in things started to turn on their head: the nose was much better adding sweet black licorice, cinnamon and cardamom all mixing well with the blackberry; the cedar started to dissipate and the coffee notes became pleasant hints ... but now the cedar seemed to be moving to the palate, masking the original flavours.  Fast forward another half hour and voila this wine finally found its way, the nose had lost much of the cedar (it was now just a whiff in the background, and the palate had also shucked it's wooden flavours turning them to black tea and graphite, plus the licorice, spice and cassis were back in full force ... it was also smooth as silk as it glided over the tongue.  Advice here would be to open and decant, or if you have the patience: open, pour a bit out to give it some air and let it breathe an hour or so - this is one delicious wine after that.

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