2012 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Prestige" Cahors

SKU #1275467 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 **Editors' Choice** This is a powerful wine, full of dark fruits and dense dry tannins. Even at four-years-old, it is still young. It is impressive in its concentration with fine acidity and black-plum flavors mingling with the tannins. Drink this serious wine from 2018. (RV)  (11/2016)

K&L Notes

Is Cahors France’s greatest undiscovered wine? In the southwestern French winegrowing region of Cahors, the majestic Malbec varietal finds its ancestral home, often producing wines of great intensity and character. The indigenous Malbec was cultivated here during Gallo-Roman times long before Bordeaux became established, and it made Cahors' reputation. Throughout the Middle Ages the wines of the Haut-Pays outranked Bordeaux in prestige, and the "black wines" of Cahors in particular were often used to beef up the color and backbone of Bordeaux's garnet-colored wines. Today, Cahors is in the midst of a renaissance, making it a fantastic time to experience these largely undiscovered and overlooked majestic wines. Cathy and Daniel Fournié of Chateau Haut-Monplaisir farm 44.5 acres in the Lot Valley on what is known as the third terrace of the valley floor, the highest and the best by virtue of its well-drained soils. All of Haut-Monplaisir's wines are composed of 100% Malbec staying true to the distinctive nature of the grape variety. The "Prestige" is aged in a mix of concrete tanks and some new and used oak barrels.

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/8/2016 | Send Email
If you want to know what a French Malbec is all about, then you need to try this wine. Floral and earthy on the nose with subtle hints of brett and a palate full of classic black currants and dark berries. The delicious lifted palate and quenching acidity highlights the biggest difference between French and Argentine Malbecs.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/2/2016 | Send Email
This wine represents a blind spot in your French wine enjoyment that you never knew you had. Cahors, while made from Malbec, tastes little like what we see coming out of Argentina today. The Haut Monplaisir is classic bistro wine at its quintessential core. I take a sip and I picture myself in Paris eating duck confit with a big hunk of bread. It's fleshy and concentrated underneath the initial impact of powerful structure and weight. With decanting, the dark plum and mineral notes are coaxed out slowly and you begin to realize the depth of the wine. It's more versatile than Bordeaux, but more structured than a Rhone blend or Burgundy. It's that middle ground between Cabernet and Grenache. Most importantly, it's just plain fun to drink.

Staff Image By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/2/2016 | Send Email
I think about drinking Cahors on a cold winter evening when it’s warm inside and I can cook a big juicy steak for dinner. The wine has that rustic character from the concrete tanks used for fermentation and that dark, inky color that always looks so beautiful in the glass. This is a great bottle for the holiday months ahead, full of rich meals and cooler weather.

Staff Image By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/26/2016 | Send Email
Woodsy, with leafy notes up front and dense currant fruit through the palate, the 2012 “Prestige” is just as delicious as the beloved previous vintage, with quality far exceeding its sub-twenty dollar price. There is some of that classic Cahors barnyard style on the finish, but overall this is an easygoing Malbec that I’m so happy to have back in stock. A must try for both French and Argentine wine fans.

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/25/2016 | Send Email
The 2011 was a rocking success and sold out within days, once we tickled your fancy with it. And the 2012 is by no means "a slouch," showing the same level of quality with a bit more concentration and power. The '12 offers up the beautiful black currant, roasted plum aromas that are the hallmarks of Malbec from its home region. Showing gorgeous weight, full-bodied texture and loads of spice notes, this is definitely cellar-worthy and will easily benefit from a couple more years of age, but it is tempting now. If you do, give it a nice hour-long decant and serve with that hallmark dish - CASSOULET. Nothing like a little duck fat, garlicky sausage and beans to meld with this superb Cahors classic.

Additional Information:



- 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.


- 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.

Southwest France

Alcohol Content (%): 14