2013 Rose – 100% Malbec, dry and fruity, bon bons on the nose. Grapefruit, cheeky raspberries and this year a subtle hint of strawberries, excellent acidity, a perfect rose to drink! Cuvee Juline, 90% Malbec, 10% Merlot. Hand harvested, aged in concrete tanks 2 years. Elegant, light, peppery red fruits, gentle tannins and hint of raspberry, Simple and feminine. Cuvee Maurin 2009: 100% Malbec, also hand harvested and concrete tank aged. Smooth sharp darker fruits on nose, stronger peppery cassis, with hint of liquorice then mint. Good balance of acidity, tannin and complexity. La Traversets 2011; Top limestone, vinified 9 months in oak. Dark voilet colour, cassis and vanilla on the nose, feminine and gentle tannins giving it good body and depth. La Nuit des Rossignols 2011: 100% Malbec, 1 year in oak.Inky dark fruits on the nose, spiced peppery cassis, longer with mint. More body than previous wines, very expressive and complex. Powerful, excellent wine. (I was unable to taste the Mattus Baccus once again, I will update when this is possible.)
La Berangeraie ( http://www.berangeraie.fr/ )
A return visit is always eagerly anticipated when such a favourite is included in the wine line up! La Berangeraie in Grezels, Cahors, based just between the 3rd Terrace and the Plateau in the Cahors Wine Appellation, is one not to be missed certainly. Marlene is always welcoming and I enjoy spending time in her company.
They are 2nd and close to 3rd, generation vintners here in our small but perfect, appellation, and with 35 hectares, they know their wines! I have adored their fruity, cheeky rose for nearly a year now, and must have sold many hectolitres as well I am sure….. One of my 3 favourite roses in the entire Cahors Wines Appellation, I have recently been back to taste their latest excellent reds as well.
Starting with my favourite, their 2013 Rose (100% Malbec), playfully called ‘Tu Bois Coa?’ (a frog on their bottle asks you ‘ what do you drink?’ ) I was keen to try the 2013, would it live up to the 2012, maintaining its cheekiness and smooth fruity taste…..The anticipation was worth it! This rose has a good nose of bon bons and raspberries – well worth taking a deep breath of it all…superb! And the first taste bursts in my mouth with raspberries, grapefruits and sherbet, with an additional hint of strawberries this year to add to it’s perfection, if that is possible. I love it! And I look forward to drinking it in Rocamadour each summer day. Perfect for salads, evenings with friends, lunch times chilling out, and if you fancy a darn good rose. Highly recommended, once again. Packaged once again with their green frog (denoting that they use organic practices, but not labelled as such), and a bright green cork, this is a wine to be taken seriously certainly!
Cuvee Juline 2009 (named after the second generation, daughter). 90% Malbec, 10% Merlot. A feminine, smooth and elegant wine, which, after being hand harvested, is aged in concrete tanks for 2 years. The taninns are allowed to melt into this wine and the small quantity of merlot allows for an elegantly subtle red fruity wine. When Marlene opened the bottle for me, the red fruity burst was exquisite and hinted at a blackberry cordial, this is a fragrant wine with peppery red fruits, and just the meerest hint of raspberry. It is very easy to drink, and was certainly very pleasant to taste in the sunshine on their terrace. A feminine wine, with an easy fruity taste, perhaps paired with grilled chicken or salads. Good body yet not overpowering.
Cuvee Maurin 2009. 100% Malbec, also hand harvested and aged in concrete tanks, which allows for an even temperature throughout vinification and aging. This has a darker colour than its ‘sister’ wine, and is named after the second generation (Maurin us Julines brother). Smooth sharpness, typical of Malbec (and one I adore!), the cassis is stronger with stronger peppery hints in the mouth, the mildest hint of mint, and liquorice. Not aggressive, yet more powerful certainly, and the tannins work well to ensure a good balance with the acidity. The 2 Cuvees work very well together, hats off to them!
We moved onto their next red, La Traversets 2011: 100% Malbec, these grapes are grown on the top limestone near to the Plateau of Cahors. VInified for 9 months in oak, 1/3 new and 2/3 old oak, this works incredibly well with an additional vanilla toast hint. I am an oaky girl, and I love the blend of new and old oak to balance the depth of oakiness! A darker violet colour, you know straight away there is something special here. Stronger cassis and vanilla hit your taste buds yet still with a femininity that gives a gentle balance. Excellent body and depth, complexity that suggests pairing with darker meat such as duck perhaps (a good local dish and one of my favourites too!).
We finished with their other oak aged 100% Malbec, La Nuit des Rossignols, 2011. Aged in their oak barrels for 1 year, a dark violet colour, with a stronger cassis nose, alluring from the start, I would suggest closing your eyes to fully appreciate and savour the first sip. Hints of caramel, spicey peppery cassis and mint on the tongue, wow! There is a more masculine fruitiness with good body and complexity. A powerful wine, and very expressive, it lasts well in the mouth and certainly seduces you to finish the glass! One of my favourites I think.
I was unable to taste the Matthus Baccus once again, my timing is never good for this wine! Although perhaps this speaks for itself….I am told this is an excellent wine and one to wait for. I will return….
In summary, Marlene and her family are the second generation with the 3rd fast approaching with fresh ideas and a dynamic approach to their excellent 35 ha vineyard. Although not the easiest to find, and I certainly need the Landy to happily reach their vineyards on the hillside, they also have a shop in Puy L’Eveque, easy to find and worth a visit. Quite frankly, I couldn’t recommend their wines highly enough! I have adored their Rose ‘Tu Bois Coa?’ for nearly a year, and I continue to sell it and increase the awareness of this fabulous wine. And if you happen to have lunch in the Dorchester in London, do ask for a La Berangeraie wine! Cheers!! Sante!!