The Black Wines of Cahors
"For thems-what-knew, (which I am almost sure is not English) World Malbec Day occurred on 17 April . But Food in Focus being the savvy broadcast source of all things food and wine pre-empted that day with a good hard look at where Malbec had its origins. (We paid him to write that!)
Rather than breaking out the empanadas and gaucho boots – and going all Argentinean, we lifted a glass (well several actually) to those who did it first, the French – and who are in a class of their own. Malbec’s traditional heartland is in the south west of France in Cahors where it is known as the Black Wine of Cahors.
Although historically one of the six grapes allowed for blending red Bordeaux, further south west, Malbec reigns supreme. It is the dominant red varietal where the region’s appellation controlée calls for a minimum of 70% Malbec in its reds. Says The Guardian (UK): “Cahors is that rarest of all wines: both a rising star and a timeless classic.”
It was French agronomist Miguel Pouquet who bought French grape vine cuttings to
Argentina in the mid 19th century. But it was its champion, Seur Malbek in France for whom the grape was named in the late 17th century, who was the forefather of this ‘timeless classic’.
Cahors Malbec draws on the legendary Dordogne soils to display complexity and structure with a full bodied, tannin backbone that unashamedly points to longevity. In its modern form its gorgeous, brooding colour belies its sensual elegance.
In recent years, as the world-wide interest in Malbec wines has increased, the Cahors producers have prominently displayed Malbec on the front labels. They have become one of the first French wine regions to label by variety not just by region.
Australian boutique French wine importer DiscoverVin www.discovervin.com.au specialises in the wines of South West France as well as Bordeaux. Their wines are available to everyone on the internet. “We have found a steadily growing following for our Cahors Malbecs,” says director, Craig Underhill. “The Argentinean Malbecs made in their sunny Australian style have opened people’s eyes to the variety. But those looking for something more complex and definitive have been discovering the ‘black wine of Cahors’. And once you go black – there’s no going back.”
The current available vintages of the Malbec wines we sampled were:
Chateau Lagrezette 2005 (Malbec 87%, Merlot 12%, Tannat 1%)
Our Tasting Notes : From the exceptional vintage of 2005, this is textbook Cahors Malbec. Inky purple colour. On the nose blackcurrant, truffles, violets. On the palate lovely blackcurrant and plum fruit, spice and minerals.Beautifully balanced, mid-weight, with fine chalky tannins, great structure and balance, long and satisfying. Could be cellared for several years but enjoy now with red meats, white meats, cheese and indeed a range of dishes.
RRP through www.discovervin.com.au $49.40 NOW SOLD-OUT
Chateau Haut Monplaisir Prestige-AOC Cahors-Rouge 2006
(100% Malbec, Certified Organic )
Our Tasting notes: Garnet red colour. The nose is intense, with notes of red fruit, spices and blackberry jam. Crisp and even, this wine presents aromas of blackcurrant and blackberry on the palate, along with a mineral note. The finish is lengthy and complex, with notes of chocolate and spices, and with just a hint of woody aromas.
RRP through www.discovervin.com.au $34.90
Chateau Haut Monplaisir-Pur Plaisir-AOC Cahors-Rouge 2006
(100% certified organic, unfined & unfiltered)
Our Tasting notes: This wine showcases classic Malbec from Cahors. The nose is lifted, powerful and complex with typical plum and berry aromas. A profoundly rich, complex, layered palate that blends fruit with mineral and tobacco notes. Strong but well integrated fine chalky tannins. Great length and balance.
RRP through www.discovervin.com.au $59.90
We had the chance to immerse ourselves in a brace of these stunning and sophisticated ‘black wine of Cahors’ – which while astonishingly good now, will and hunker down for the long term."
These wines are also available to trade customers. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.