Of France's "country wines" no appellation produces a more robust and age-worthy red than the Southwest's Cahors. This velvety beauty is beginning to blossom with black fruit, herbal and mineral flavors that blend into a long, toasty finish.
The vineyard sites of Ch. Haute-Serre in Cahors had been abandoned since phylloxera laid waste to the roots of the vines many decades before. In the 1970s, nearly a century later, the family Vigouroux decided to take the time to clear vegetation and re-plant with historically relevant grape varieties such as Malbec. The fruits of their labor are evident in the complex aromas and the structure on the palate. Appealing dark fruit, an elderberry-liqueur-like note, and spicy, herbaceous brush give a classic introduction to the character of the earth in this A.O.C. Coming back to the glass for more, I found fresh vanilla cream with a dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon from the new-oak regimen. On the palate I experienced ripe fruit, balanced acidity, and a dry wine with nice grippy tannin that begs for a well-marbled steak from the grill.
Known as Côt throughout much of France, Malbec is the dark-skinned variety that put Argentinian wine on the map - and likewise, Argentinian Malbec saved the grape from near obscurity. The Cahors appellation in France still relies on Malbec to distinguish many of its wines, but the area is exceptional in this regard. As the grape can be quite difficult to cultivate, it has become far less popular...
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