Cahors is a small appellation east of Bordeaux and best known as the sole remaining French redoubt of Malbec, which makes up at least 70% of the blend, supplemented by Tannat and Merlot. We don’t see Cahors much in the U.S. unless you chase it down, but it’s worth pursuing if only because the expression of Malbec is significantly different from the more common Argentinean Malbec. Argentinean Malbecs are typically soft, full bodied, and fruity. Cahors Malbecs are savory and meaty with firm tannins.
This bottling is worth checking out. The nose is reticent when first opened but complex and pleasant with chocolate kissed by cinnamon highlighting the blackberry aromas, with red currant, thyme and damp forest wood adding to the olfactory chorus. In the mouth, the initial blackberry disappears under a barrage of racy acidity that sends flavors of thyme, cola, and charred wood hurtling across the palate. The texture is an undulating wash. You sense movement more than a static mouthfeel, with a medium length finish propelled by acid and licorice notes, the tannins nicely round and supporting. This wine has loads of personality. The liveliness on the palate is compelling with acid pushing the upper bound.
Now for the odd part. I haven’t a clue about this winery. There is no information about it. However the back label translated reads “bottled at the Chateau by Chateau de Chambert”, a respected producer of quality Cahors. The Internet droppings suggest that Bevmo is its primary retail outlet. Perhaps we’re looking at a private label. At any rate, this is a good wine; grab it when you see it.
The energy in this wine reminds me of one of the great road songs of 70’s from the Dutch band Golden Earring: