2009 Château de Chambert Cahors (Elsewhere $27)

SKU #1248189 91 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* A beautifully perfumed wine. It shows an elegant side to Cahors, offering intense and juicy blackberry fruit that override the dark tannins. The wine has weight and power and remains finely proportioned. (RV)  (6/2012)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Focused and vibrant, with plenty of juiciness to the crushed red fruit flavors, joined by intense raspberry and red currant notes. Powerful dark chocolate accents fill the finish, which offers lots of spice. (KM)  (9/2012)

K&L Notes

Chateau de Chambert's history extends back centuries where documentation shows first plantings in the surrounding hills around the 10th century. More importantly though is actually what followed after the Phylloxera epidemic of the 18th century. By the early 1900s, the region was in such decline that the vineyards of Chambert laid fallow for almost 60 years. Almost a blessing in disguise, as when the vineyards were reestablished in 1973, they were free of all petrochemicals. The Chateau, now owned by Philippe Lejeune, is the largest certified organic/bio-dynamic vineyard in Cahors holding accreditations from both Ecocert and Demeter! The basic Cahors is a blend of 85% Malbec and 15% Merlot with an average vine age of over 30 years. The grapes are all hand-harvested, fermented with native yeasts and aged a year in primarily used oak. Though the estate is not small at 65 hectares, the wine still has a beautifully artisanal feel to it. The wine has some bottle age on it now but still has another decade plus of longevity ahead of it. (Keith Mabry, K&L Wine Buyer)

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Price: $18.99

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Staff Image By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/20/2017 | Send Email
Beautiful deep berry color and a woodsy nose serve as the first impression of this seriously structured Cahors. The tannins are vividly apparent but the finish is surprisingly soft, and there’s a brightness to balance the juicy plum fruit. Château de Chambert is a lively Malbec with backbone and freshness, drinking well now, and considering it already has some age on it, a steal for under twenty bucks.

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/14/2017 | Send Email
The region of Cahors has flown under the radar for many years but is slowly emerging from the shadows with the rise of consumer interest in Argentine Malbec. Make no mistake though, Cahors is in France and it is where Malbec originated. In it's heyday, Cahors was as famous if not more famous than Bordeaux. The inky Malbec from the region was often sent north to Bordeaux to add body, structure and color to those old Bordeaux. When the phylloxera (a root louse that kills vines) epidemic struck the region over a century ago, Cahors fell into decline and almost disappeared from the map. It's actually Argentina that has renewed interest in the grape's birthplace and now a renaissance is taking place. The Chateau de Chambert is one of those historic properties that suffered greatly during that decline. In the early 70s though, the winery was reestablished and their commitment to organic and biodynamic farming quickly followed suit. This 2009 is a true classic and an exceptional find. Often Cahors needs a little bottle age to show its best. Much like a Bordeaux, the tannins can be a little firm and wood tones may be a little too obvious in its youth. Fortunately, the 2009 has shed all that baby fat as it were and the wine is superb drinking now. The tannins are polished and the flavors are beautifully integrated. I opened a bottle with the staff recently and their comments were all consistent. "This is what a great Cahors should taste like!" Black currants, roasted black plums, smoky spice, grilled herbs on the nose and pallet, this is hearty wine in search of hearty fare. The classic pairing is still cassoulet - what's not to love about a stew of beans, sausage and duck confit? Not everything has to have a French edge to it. This would be equally amazing with grilled steaks, pork chops or leg of lamb. Anything you would do with a Bordeaux, Argentine Malbec of even California Cab, this would play well with. All that flavor, polish and vibrant fruit leads to a versatile wine that will find fans of most styles and at a price that is tough to beat for this level of quality.

Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/14/2017 | Send Email
'Terroir' is too often misspelled as 'Terrior' in many a wine note, which might be fine if you're sorta searching for a scruffy little wire-haired companion (and even that is misspelled). Anyway..... we're talking wine from Cahors, in Southwest France, where the terroir is an ancient juxtaposition of limestone and alluvial soils, terraces, plateaus and tributaries bundled with abundant sunshine, quite the package for cultivating extraordinary fruit with a surfeit of flavors. The passage of time adds grace and suppleness to the depth-charged wines of Cahors, tempering the powerful tannins and acidity and polishing the blackberry, blackcurrant and licorice fruit to a beautiful finish. Trust me on this one, I'm not barking up the wrong terroir......

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/14/2017 | Send Email
I respect Malbec, I really do. When it's done right, there are few grapes that match its intensity of fruit and versatility with food. I also taste a ton of Malbecs as part of my responsibilities buying Argentinian wines, so if I'm going to break from the usual routine of telling folks how delicious a new Argentinian Malbec is, you know that this is some serious stuff! This Cahors opens with big and bright plum fruit aromas, which lead to a palate of juicy red fruit, terrific presence and poise, as well as a thread of iron minerality. Fairly classic Malbec profile, but as is the case with the Cahors version of Malbec, the acidity is a bit livelier and really drives the wine. Sign me up! Drinking now, and likely to be drinking for at least some 5-7 years from now. Great wine.

Staff Image By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/13/2017 | Send Email
Wow. Talk about intensity--this wine is on the next level. I rarely stumble into wines that have this level of power and structure to them--and never at this price range. Whiplash acid, densely focused fruit, and a structure that will hold for years to come make this solid value.

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Malbec

- These days if you're drinking a Malbec it's probably from Argentina. The most planted grape in that country, varietally-labeled Argentine Malbecs are one of the wine market's great values, prized for their slight herbal component and dark, luscious fruit. Structurally, Argentina's Malbecs are much different than those grown in the grape's native France; they are riper, fruitier and fleshier. In France, the best iterations of Malbec can be found in the Cahors, where it can be quite decadent. It is also planted in the Loire Valley, where it is called Côt and is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Gamay, and in Bordeaux, where it has fallen from favor in many of the region's great blends because it is difficult to grow. In the United States, the varietal is frequently added to Meritage wines - Bordeaux style blends - but it is rarely found on its own.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Southwest France

Organic: