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K&L Staff Recommendations
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe, almost sweet, fruit is full of delicious black plum and berry flavors. The wine is rounded, opulent and generous to a fault. A solid core of darker tannins hold all this richness together. Drink from 2015." (3/2015) K&L Notes: These days, when you think of Malbec you often think of Argentina. But Southwestern France's Cahors appellation is the ancestral home of this black grape, situated in the high country (Haut Pays), equidistant from the Atlantic, the Pyrenees, and the Mediterranean. It is drier than Bordeaux or the Languedoc in fall and distinguished by its... Read More »
The vineyards of Cahors date back to the Roman occupation, making them among some of the oldest in France. Nicknamed the "black wine" because of its beautiful opaque color, wines from Cahors were historically used to darken the color of Bordeaux claret. Historically, popes and Russian tsars have imbibed this palate staining wine, which was also the preferred red wine of author Ernest Hemingway. Château la Coustarelle is owned by Michel and Nadine Cassot and located in the village of Prayssac, next to the renowned Clos de Gamot. Their Cuvée Tradition is f... Read More »
The Côtes du Frontonnais winemaking region is located on the left bank of the Tarn River about 20 miles north of Toulouse. The area is generally flat, with occasional hills that create small slopes. The subsoil is composed of ice age deposits, topped by alluvial soil and rouget, a material very rich in iron that evokes parallels to the character of the wines. The typical climate of the region is similar to that of Bordeaux: warm and dry in the summer, and mild and wet in the winter. The grape that sets Fronton apart from other winemaking regions in Franc... Read More »
A blend of 97% Malbec with 3% Tannat, this Cahors is sourced from 30-50 year old vines planted in calcareous clay. The vineyard yields a modest and concentrated crop of grapes which are sorted before pressing and given an extended, temperature-controlled maceration to extract the best of what the fruit has to offer. The wine then spent 12 months in 50% new oak barrels before being bottled.
Inventory: San Francisco
The region of Marcillac, located in the Southwest part of France, is largely overlooked. The vines were devastated by phylloxera at the turn of the 20th century and the local mining began to dry up not shortly thereafter. The region had shrunk dramatically but is now poised for a comeback. The grape Mansois (also called Fer Servadou or Braucol) is planted on the local red soils called rougiers (a clay soil rich in iron). The story of Domaine des Costes Rouges begins when Claudine Vinas and her husband Eric took over her parents farm in the early 1990... Read More »
From French Basque country comes this gorgeous red from Irouleguy! Composed of 70% Tannat, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in older bariques. Forthcoming nose hints at black fruit and rose hip tea. Medium to full-body. Notes of currant and red fruit in the mouth. A hint of licorice, a touch of smoke and well-integrated tannins on the finish. Enjoy with a tranche of Bayonne ham or Poulet Basque! (Certified Organic) Irouleguy is a small wine region located 125 miles (200km) south of Bordeaux in Le Pays Basque – the French Basque Country. ... Read More »
From the winery: "The wine is very fresh with exotic fruit aromas. The palate is tonic and fruity."
Made from old vine Gros Manseng, harvested in three passes from the end of October to the end of November. The wine has notes of tropical fruits and white flowers with rich sweetness and a delicate finish. Ideal with foie gras or a variety of desserts.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "From one of the top estates in Cahors, this complex, dense wine is both structured and packed with great fruit. At the moment, the tannins are in charge, big, bold and dense. Over the next few years the opulent black fruits will come out strongly, bringing richness along with impressive concentration. Drink from 2019. (RV)" (8/2015) K&L Notes: This is a crackling, modern styled Cahors is composed of 90% malbec and 10% tannat, and comes from Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe of Chateau du Cedre, the leading estate of the region. The wine displays the typical black color ... Read More »