When we think Malbec, we think of that great red wine from Argentina, right? But while we can definitely thank our Argentinian brothers and sisters for the modern popularity of Malbec, in truth, this voluptuous varietal's spiritual homeland is back in the old European world. Long known as "the famous black grape of Cahors", Malbec from southwest France was, at one time, the preferred wine of some of Europe's most esteemed nobility, with Peter The Great being such a fan that he imposed the wine on the Orthodox church. Alas, the good times did not roll forever for Cahors, as a series of unfortunate events (punitive taxes, destruction from phylloxera, and the mercantile aggression of neighboring Bordeaux) led to the region, and it's beloved black grape, receding in to the shadows of history.
But who doesn't like a comeback? Enter Terracaë Cahors Malbec, a special collaboration from two of southwest France's genuine all-stars. This 100% Malbec from 20 year old vines is a joint venture from Frederic Brouca and Pascal Verhaeghe, with the latter haling from Chateau du Cedre, one of the most sought after and respected names in all of southwest France. Cahors is all about the terraces, and this wine comes from a certified organic single vineyard in La Capelle Cabanac on the 3rd (highest) terrace. Terracaë Malbec was created with the idea of showcasing both the depth and the freshness of Cahors Malbec, and in our minds this wine manages to combine both new world style fruit with old world elegance. Framed by soft tannins and balancing acidity, it's instantly apparent that this stuff is good. With air the wine opens up to reveal some absolutely dazzling sweet and smoky black and blue fruits- think blueberry compote and ripe blackberries, with elements of fresh violets, black pepper, and a bit of camphor swirling around its core of generous fruit.
The real difference that we found with this 'old world' expression of Malbec is that while the warmth of Mendoza really brings out Malbec's sweet fruit characteristics, the terroir of Cahors gifts the wine some seriously savory qualities, which give this wine an elegant grip that one won't always find with Malbec from Argentina. It's not often that you can find a wine from a renowned region with an aristocratic pedigree without paying the accompanying price for it, and with the prices in Bordeaux and Burgundy soaring ever higher, we think that the future of Cahors is looking bright once again.
The price here is $14.99 the bottle, or $162 for a case, plus tax. Let us know if you're interested in trying this special offer.