Coup de Coeur is the highest accolade awarded by the French wine buyers bible, the Guide Hachette. This is an annual publication that lists the results by appellation of tastings from all over the country. An arduous task - everyone always thinks wine tasting is fun and easy. With some of the dross that gets entered into competitions, I would not willingly swap with most judges. The Guide Hachette is a little different though: whereas few seriously good wines are ever entered in the Decanter World Wine Awards et al, the grandest of the grand put their wines forward for the Guide - page 475 of the 2013 edition sees DRC winning a Coup de Coeur for its 2010 Grands Echezeaux, for instance.
Now, I am sure Laurent Brusset would be the first to distance his wines from anything coming out of DRC but, for Gigondas and Cairanne, they are consistently at the top of the game - and somewhat more affordable too.
Domaine Brusset's Gigondas Les Hauts de Montmirail is one of the oaked cuvees coming out of Gigondas but Laurent has been considerate of the use of oak which he has tempered somewhat, allowing the fruit to come out better in recent vintages. It is a GSM blend from high up in the Dentelles de Montmirail, a jagged rock formation abutting Mont Ventoux with spectacular views across the valley floor. And, as the GH write up says, the wine reaches the summit too, just eclipsing Le Grand Montmirail, the regular bottling.
In Cairanne, it is the 2011 Les Travers the scoops the highest award with the 2012 white, a personal favourite, just behind.
Well, now I know what I will be drinking tonight!