L’Hetre is named for the beech tree as another winery is named after a pine tree, but I will get to that eventually. I was doing some errands and I was stopping off at the Fine Wine Source our local wine shop in Livonia as I was going to pick up some more wine, yes, I realize that it sounds unusual for us to buy more wine, but the wines for our daily consumption have drastically increased since the virus from China and the ensuing lockdown; and all I can say is that it is a good thing that my Bride and I get along. I walked into the shop and somebody joked that I must have smelled a wine tasting, as they were getting ready to taste some new wines for the shop, as well as retasting some wines for their restaurant Vertical in Downtown Detroit, they are not opening on the first wave, because the first wave of openings of restaurants will be at 25% capacity, so they are waiting until the capacity level opens up to half. It made my day.
L’Hetre 2018, if you are like me a lay person, was a totally new wine, and I got a great story about the wine after I tasted it. Jacques Thienpont visited this estate in the Cotes de Castillon during the harvest of 2015. At that time the land was owned by a Belgian couple and in the ten years that they started Chateau Goubau, they converted the estate to ten hectares of organic farming surrounded by forests and pastures on the highest plateau in the Bordeaux region. Jacques Thienpont along with his sister bought the property in 2016 and in 2017 bought the adjacent Chateau Montagne, a twenty-five-hectare estate with the potential of adding a further ten hectares if and when needed. They brought in a nephew Maxine Thienpont from another family estate Chateau Labegorce Zede in Margaux. The family aged the 2015 vintage, but the 2016 vintage was the first to be made by the new owners. The families also own Chateau Certan of Pomerol, as well as their property named after a pine tree Le Pin, which is on my unicorn list of wines.
L’Hetre 2018 is a blend of ninety-five percent Merlot and five percent Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged in oak for fifteen months. While the wine carries the Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux appellation, when I tasted it, I thought it was a young Pomerol or a Saint-Emilion as it was really lush with a great nose. The taste was full of red and dark fruit, well balanced with ripe tannins and a finish that gave me spice and a limestone terroir. It was after the tasting, that I got the “schmoozing” about the background of this wine. I left with L’Hetre 2017 which the Fine Wine Source had in inventory, the 2018 will be coming. My Bride did not know that she was getting extra wines when I finally got home.