French Malbec

Experience Cahors Malbec !

Experience Cahors Malbec 15 october, 2014

Cahors, the best red wine in the world by the Revue du Vin de France in China (january, 2014)

Cahors, the best red wine in the world by the Revue du Vin de France in China :
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Cahors is the right place to grow Malbec after all

Following the interview of Matthieu Grassin, winemaker of Alta Vista, the management of the French Argentine winery published a statement on snooth.com:

“The opinions expressed in this article are the Matthieu Grassin’s own and do not represent his employer’s views in any way. Those personal comments should not be considered official or sanctioned by Alta Vista winery.”

Which ends the controversy on Malbec being grown in Cahors!

Is Cahors the right place to grow Malbec?

The question is quite pertinent when you read the latest statement of a French winemaker working in Argentina and growing Malbec for Alta Vista to Carly Wray from Snooth.com: ” ” Malbec is the great variety [...]  Easy to grow, easy to make, easy to drink.” Pointing out to the land, he describes the natural affinity between region and grape. The clear skies, poor soils, and thermal oscillation (the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures) offer Malbec much of what it needs to become a deeply concentrated, richly fruited wine. When I ask him about Malbec’s performance in its hometown of Cahors, which happens not to be too far from his own, he shrugs, plainly: “The climate in Cahors is wrong for Malbec.”"

If the climate of Cahors is so wrong for Malbec, how would Mathieu Grassin explain that Cahors has been growing Malbec for over 800 years and that the Cahors wines were bought and drunk all over Europe until the terrible frost of 1956 that destroyed almost all the vineyard? Wouldn’t it be more honest to recognize that Argentina and Cahors produce wines differently and for different kinds of wine consumers? The hot and dry climate of Cahors generates wines with long ageing potential. Opposite to Argentina where watering the vineyards is possible during dry years, Cahors has to face year after year the variations of climate with no possible help of artificial means as allowed in Argentina. Which means that young Cahors wines can be more difficult to appreciate than the rounder and fruitier Argentine Malbec, easily drunk young but difficult to drink when mature.
Cahors has the perfect climate for Malbec with its own complexity and its richness. It allows a greater spectrum of tastes, flavors, aromas and styles than in Argentina where year after year the same wine is produced.

Cahors Malbec: black or red wine?

Is Cahors Malbec a black or a red wine? This is the question asked by Marcel Michelson on the eBacchus Wine Blog. This interetsing and well documented article quotes Jérémy Arnaud, the Marketing Director of the Cahors vintners association (UIVC) and explains clealy the strategy behind the Cahors Malbec come back.

Cahors Malbecs show off in New York

A few days ago, the Wine Media Guild organized a luncheon where Malbecs from Argentina and Cahors were tasted. For the author of the blog Imbibe New York, Karen Ulrich, Cahors won easily this friendly competition.

Here are those she enjoyed most:

“The Georges Vigouroux, Pigmentum Malbec 2005 and the Château La Coustarelle, Tradition 2005 are both surprisingly complex and under $15. The Pigmentum shows light tannins with aromas of black tea, and bright, dark berry fruit. The Tradition is like walking into a tea shop, full of earthy and bitter notes. Misleading, the fruit initially recalls that of an Argentine Malbec, but here, the acidity keeps it in its place by rightfully halting any of the fruit’s potential bigness.

Château de Haute Serre 2005–Rich ruby in color and elegant, there’s integrated earth and mint with dark fruit, and an acidity that keeps the tannins from dominating the glass.

Château de Gaudou, Renaissance 2007 –Floral incense and spice. One smells the tannins as the wine’s spine. Black plum and bloom, and blackberry, the tannins have a talc texture, which I found nice.

Château Eugenie, Cuvee Reservee de l’Aieul 2006–Charred wood soon gives way to black plum and eucalyptus mint, with silky tannins that do not interrupt the wine’s progression. “

Nathan Marshall on Cahors Malbec

Nathan Marshall is a young blogger who produces videos on some of his favorite wines. He just launched a video on Cahors Malbec and a tasting of La Coutale 2008 on YouTube.

The “Official Vayniac” on Cahors Malbec

Guess who the “official Vayniac” is… Anyway our friend shared with his community his favorite wines among Cahors Malbecs on his forum. Among the best, but also the most expensive, he recommends:

1) Chateau du Cedre , Le Cedre
2) I have only had a few times because …….. well ………. dammit , its friggin expensive. Chateau du Cedre GC …………
The GC is the best of the best from Cahors IMO ……… however …….. the Le Cedre is almost as stunning at half the price …. but the Le Cedre is still $52-58 per bottle.
Others I like ……..
3) Clos Triguedina The Black Wine around $100 per bottle
4) Clos Triguedina Prince Probus …. $45-56 per bottle

Then here is his list of more affordable Cahors Malbecs and as good:

1) Chateau du Cedre , Le Cedre
2) I have only had a few times because …….. well ………. dammit , its friggin expensive. Chateau du Cedre GC …………
The GC is the best of the best from Cahors IMO ……… however …….. the Le Cedre is almost as stunning at half the price …. but the Le Cedre is still $52-58 per bottle.
Others I like ……..
3) Clos Triguedina The Black Wine around $100 per bottle
4) Clos Triguedina Prince Probus …. $45-56 per bottle

And of course, many people commented on their own tastes – very similar to the tastes of the Official Vayniac.

Paul Hobbs on Malbec

The famous wine consultant and winemaker Paul Hobbs explained brilliantly how consumers made Malbec famous in the US :

Château du Cèdre, young lady or strong male?

Bouteilles-CèdreThe British blogger Alastair Bathgate had the funniest way to present Château du Cèdre 2006. Disclaimer: he is entirely responsible for his statement!

But basically Alastair loved it: “Rich, fruity, yet smooth and soapy. It is a bit like drinking coffee from an earthenware pot whilst munching on a raspberry teabag. But if you can stand the tannins, it is conclusive proof that you can build a wine sturdier than a tranny’s thong at only 13° ABV.”

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French Malbec