Excellent wines from La Berangeraie, Cahors.

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Summary Wines:

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.)

2013 Wines

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!!

Tu Bois Coa... 6 Jul 13

Domaine des Sangliers – Cahors Black Wine to drink!

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Wine Summary:  Stanton Rose is 100% Malbec and very elegant.  Appley cirtus notes on the nose and at first taste, lingering hint of peppery freshness and peach.  Sangliers 2006 is also 100% Malbec, AOC, light and fragrant, hint of oaky pepper and red fruits, easy to drink. Stanton Black 2006 also 100% Malbec, is a darker more concentrated black fruits, oaky hints and longer taste.  Stanton Black 2007 true Black Wine, 100% Malbec, liquorice undertones, oaky peper on the nose, more concentrated dark fruits with mellowed tannins giving this body and complexity.

The Visit (first blogged in Jan 2014):

I first visited the Organic Vineyard of Lisa and Kim Stanton back in March 2013, and Lisa was kind enough to let me use her wines as a ‘first tasting’.  Patiently talking me through her wines, she helped me to describe what I was looking at, smelling and tasting.  A lovely English lady (with an incredible singing voice), she owns and runs the vineyard with her New Zealand husband Kim (a biker as well, great guy!).  They have worked hard at gaining their Organic certification, and continue tirelessly to add quality and good value to their wines each year.

 

I was lucky enough to re-visit Lisas vineyard in January 2014 with my family in tow, parents, husband and children!  We all descended upon her to taste her wines once more and to also give me the chance to write her wines up in my Wine Blog, as I have been selling her 2007 Stanton Black wines for nearly a year now, through 46 Black Wine in France, and will commence imported sales soon through Mearsdon Wines Ltd in the UK.

So on one cold afternoon in January 2014, Lisa kindly opened the tasting room to myself and my family.  The temperature was a little on the chilly side, but I know that her wines are good enough to shine through even on the coolest 10 – 14 degrees we had inside that day.

 

We started with her Rose …….WOW!  I am very very hard to please with the roses of Cahors, I am of the opinion that is is incredibly difficult to produce an excellent rose, and I don’t represent ‘OK’ wines, only the best of the best of the best! ….. I only had 2 on my wine list before this visit – I now have 3.  It has a darker colour than most in Cahors (except for another very good dark rose from Mas del Perie), the purple Malbec grape being a stronger colour and producing either sour roses, or too sweet with the added sugar needed.  At first, Lisas Rose has an appley citrus on the nose,  a very delicate hint of peach at first taste, sweeter than some others, yet still the tannins work well to ensure a perfect balance of dryness matches this sweetness and it is not overwhelming.  It is very gentle, incredibly smooth and lingers in the mouth just long enough to tempt you into another mouthful…. I took her last 25 bottles and I am waiting with growing anticipation for her 2013 Rose.  Well done to Lisa and Kim!

 

Moving on next to her ‘Sangliers 2006’ at 12.5% it is a lighter, mellow colour, not at all the dark purple more commonly associated with the ‘Black Wine’.  However, this does not disappoint at all.  On the nose there is just a hint of oak as it spends 3 months only in the barrel, and with a lovely light peppery taste, the gentle tannins allow for a good body.  A lovely light wine, certainly one that could be drunk on its own, or compliment the right food.

 

Stanton Black 2006 was our next wine, and one I had been looking forward to as I sell her 2007.  This was certainly darker and more representative of the wines Cahors has become famous for.  Fruity, darker notes hit you straight away and hint at the darkness in your hand.  At first taste, the red fruits with hints of cassis and an underlying lingering liquorice certainly delighted me. Not as ‘black’ as the 2007, this is still a very nice wine, well worth trying definitely.

 

 

 

The true ‘Black Wine’ the Stanton Black 2007 was next, and wow…..This is definitely the Black One!  A darker colour tells you immediately what you already know, that there is depth and real power in this wine.  Dark fruits on the nose, powerful and oaky hints  lead you to the first taste.  I would recommend closing your eyes at this point to fully enjoy the concentrated black-currant, the smokey oak sense, relish the hint of peppery spices in the aftertaste with subtle hints of liquorice…..A complex, yet elegant wine, very smooth and certainly earns the ‘Black’ in its title.  One to drink now, and also to lay down and enjoy in the future, let those amazing tannins continue their incredible work.  You won’t be disappointed.

 

Lisa and Kim Stanton should be rightly proud of their hard work as it paying off, and they produce some excellent wines.  I will certainly be continuing to sell their wines here through 46 Black Wine at La Noyeraie Rocamadour, and I look forward to taking it back to the UK with my new UK Import Company…. In the meantime, ‘cheers’, ‘sante’, or whatever you wish to say as you drink the excellent wine from Cahors.

 

http://www.domaine-des-sangliers.com  well worth a visit, although do contact them first as they are very busy people, but always welcoming too.

Discover A True Cahors Black Wine at Domaine du Prince

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Summary: Impressive Domaine du Prince wines. Easy to drink red fruit Tradition, subtle cassis-intense, oak aged the Chene du Prince, pure dark fruit elegance of the Rossignol and powerful complexity of the true Black Wine, smokey truffle 2009 Lou Prince.

Driving through the very beautiful Lot landscapes, I hunted for the well regarded Domaine du Prince, and was struck once again how lucky I am to live in such an incredibly stunning area, surrounded by the best wines I have ever tasted. Upon finding the understated Domaine, my expectations were running high after the insistence of making this visit. I was looking forward to seeing if the wine lives up to its reputation…

Domaine du Prince is so named because the in the mid 1500s the King was so taken with their wines that he gave them gold coins, which led to the name ‘Prince’ as Cahors wine royalty! And hence the name Domaine du Prince. They are once of the oldest vineyards in Cahors. I parked my Landy next to their 2 cows, munching happily on their overflowing pumpkin patch, and went through the large wooden doors keeping guard on the treasure within. I took my time to meander through to the tasting area, noticing the barrels and cement tanks on either side of the wide entrance. Bottling was well under way and I waited, enjoying the atmosphere and aromas for a moment. A warm welcome by Didier Jouves who was very kind and stopped his bottling to talk me through their wines.

Tradition 2008 : We started with their 1st category Tradition, a 2008, lovely deep red colour, 100% Malbec. Very light and fruity, with hints of elegant red fruits, more red-currant than black, not strong or over-powering. There was a very mild hint of liquorice, and although in the first category of Cahors wines, it was an elegant, simple wine, and very promising that more was to come from their other wines. Moving on to taste the 2009, I was immediately taken by the stronger red-currant (cassis) bouquet, matched as well in flavour. More impressive than the 2008, this had a fuller body, although clearly still the same wine. Not aged in oak, it has a simple masculine beauty that impressed me from the first drop.

Chene du Prince 2007 : I’m an oaky girl, so to speak, so I was keen to try their next wine, the Chene du Prince. Starting with the 2007, straight away I noticed the darker appearance, a much deeper red than the Tradition. Already 6 years old, it had the musky, liquorice nose than made me close my eyes as I took the first sip. Promising a heavier smokey wine, its strength was not over-powering. What struck me was how well rounded it was, and light for a 6 year old wine aged in oak for 12 months…..Impressive that they managed to maintain a simple elegance, yet still keep a clearly masculine power to it. Tasting the 2006 straight afterwards gave me a further appreciation of the complexity to this lovely wine. Well rounded tannins give this superb wine a body to it that would be well paired with food, yet still not too much to drink on its own.

Rossignol 2008 : Starting with a 2008, which had a dark inky colour, not just hinting but promising a very powerful, impressive wine. Darkly concentrated, fruity nose, with a hint of liquorice, drawing out the anticipation further. Wow….. The first taste, inky complex darkness, concentrated cassis, high quality, clear power, very pure. Smooth and velvety with the merest hint of vanilla. incredible wine seems to be an understatement….The Rossignol is not aged in oak, so the wine does not hide behind anything, it is very pure. We tasted the 2009 after this, and I see in my notes that I have written ‘a taste explosion of perfect grapes in the mouth!!’ And another Wow….. This is a truly incredible wine, eclipsing many I have tasted over the last few months, I look forward to telling as many people as I can about this understated, incredible vineyard. I was impressed by these wines, and yet, still one more to follow!

Lou Prince 2009: Well……where do you go from there….only one way, onto the final oak aged LOU PRINCE. After opening a bottle through the wax (yes wax!) encasing the cork, we tasted the 2009, the colour was so black that it surely is the original true, Black Wine that we all search for…..and after the first taste, I could easily have ended my search right there, right then. The nose follows up the colour with a very powerful promise of a very great wine, smokey dark fruits assault the senses and I felt compelled to close my eyes to savour it without distraction – oh goodness, I hear you say, she’s lost the plot…..Well, if one can be completely under the spell of a wine, it was right then that I fell. Black cherries work side by side with a truffel chocolate richness fuirther enhanced by the oak power, yet so well rounded that it really is such a well balance wine. Complex and very masculine, with an aftertaste of tobacco you can almost chew on, it really does rest in the mouth and continue the exquisite experience that comes with drinking this wine. I would definitely pair it with food, a rare venison of top quality, or a blue Aberdeen Angus fillet…..something that will really match this powerful beauty. It is high in volume at 16.5%, and indeed there is a headiness that accompanies this wine. I have since tasted the 2010 and although this is also an excellent vintage, I eagerly await the 2011 (a truly exceptional year in Cahors). Buying a box of 6 wines is presented in a wooden box, and a further indication that this wine is something very special. Lou Prince 2009

Didier drove us out into the vineyard, and as we stopped right beside the Lou Prince vines, I was impressed yet again by the simplicity of the domain, the vineyard, the viticulteurs…..the true artisans, humble and very pleased by the medals they have for their wines. The iron oxide in the soil gives the Malbec grape a very pure minerality, and the terroir is as impressive as the vines.

Our appellation has a number of incredible vineyards and artisans, many of you who know me, or know of me, are aware of the wines I adore, and the vineyards I rate very very highly, so you will be pleased to know that I will be bringing Domaine du Prince to the UK, to Rocamadour, and to anyone who wants a perfect wine. As I was leaving, I decided to drive into the vineyards in the Landy, and was lucky enough to meet his brother Bruno, and their dog who was delighted to meet me, muddy paws and all (as my crazy English Setter is just as pleased to share her muddy paws, this was fairly normal to me!). He explained more of the vines as well and was happy to chat for a while.

I was equally as impressed by Didier and Bruno and their honest love of what they do as the incredible wines here at Domaine du Prince. I would recommend any of their wines, and I would be happy to drink each one in the right circumstances.