2014 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Prestige" Cahors

SKU #1337217 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Wood aged and serious, this is a finely balanced wine. Its spice and toast notes are beginning to come together with its young, exuberant fruit and acidity. Black currant flavors dominate, giving it a crisp, juicy edge. Drink this impressive wine from 2021. (RV)  (12/2017)

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: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/22/2018 | Send Email
Don't think of this Malbec in quite the same way that you're accustomed to thinking of the grape. This is French Malbec at its best--with restraint and structure, capable of aging, and an excellent complement to steak. While it still has the enchanting black fruit and spice characteristics that we love in this varietal, it is neither jammy nor sweet-fruited, but well-balanced, with an excellent structure. If you're a Bordeaux fan, or love Bordeaux-style wines, this is absolutely one you should try.

Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/15/2018 | Send Email
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When most people think of purchasing a bottle of Malbec they invariably seek out the lush, full-bodied, fruitful red wines of Argentina. Not to argue, but it’s easy to forget if they ever remembered, that Malbec’s true home has always been in Southwest France, in the misbegotten wines of Cahors, where it flourished for centuries until the phylloxera bug and devastating frosts almost annihilated it. We’re forever thankful that it survived, as Haut-Monplaisir has defined in almost textbook fashion what this grape will give you in temperament, pleasure and finesse when grown on the soils of its native land— luscious, aromatic blackcurrant fruit augmented by licorice, vanilla and spice, with a silky suppleness and weight that poured itself with aplomb into the glass. Stunning Malbec, and I guess if the bottle could speak it might say ‘don’t cry for me Argentina’!

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/11/2018 | Send Email
Back to back successes with the Haut Monplaisir has solidified it as one of our favorite Malbecs from any region. Both the 2011 and 2012 were quick sell throughs with their level of quality, concentration and power. The '14 offers up something even more special in my opinion. Sweet black plum. It was such an evident marker, I would have used it in a wine class on flavor profiles. It's not the only thing going for this wine though with its beautiful blackcurrant, gorgeous weight, full-bodied texture and loads of spice notes. It is a hallmark Malbec showing the best of what can come from its home region of Cahors. Easily the sexiest of the last few vintages, you would be hard pressed to keep you hands of this beauty while serving it with hearty winter fare and dare I say even some grilled Argentine steak?! Let's show those southern hemisphere Malbecs how it's done old-school French style.

Staff Image By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/7/2018 | Send Email
I love this producer so much. I have a thing for savory wines, and the Haut Monplaisir has that in spades. Meaty, gamey, almost a touch bloody aromatics with dark, dark, black fruits and earthiness on the palate. It's has some serious weight and concentration, but still displays a silky texture with rustic tannins and exceptional balance. My all-time favorite cahors.

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.
Sub-Region:

Southwest France

Alcohol Content (%): 14
Organic: