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Three Triguedinas

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Cahors 2010, Clos Triguedina ($28.40, 00746412)
A blend of Malbec (80%), Merlot (15%) and Tannat (5%) from 30-year-old vines. The grapes are manually harvested and sorted. Maceration and fermentation with pump-overs last 15 to 18 days. Matured 18 months in Allier oak casks (one-third new). Reducing sugar: 2.4 g/l. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Sélections Fréchette.
Wafting nose of plum, blackberry, spice, cedar, turned earth, leafmould and, eventually, a floral note. In the mouth, it’s on the lighter side of full-bodied. The ripe fruit is structured by fine, silky tannins and bright acidity, overtoned with spice and a hint of game. Finishes long and savoury. Earthy yet refined, modern though not to a fault, above all delicious. (Buy again? Yes.)

Cahors 2009, Probus, Clos Triguedina ($38.75, 12450287)
100% Malbec from vines more than 50 years old (the estate’s oldest parcels). The various lots are vinified separately. The grapes are hand picked and sorted, then destemmed. Maceration and fermentation at 30-32°C last 20 to 25 days. Matured more than 18 months in new Allier oak casks. All the lots are tasted and only the best are blended to make the wine. Reducing sugar: 3.1 g/l. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Sélections Fréchette.
Gorgeous, inexhaustible nose with all of the above and more, including an integrating dose of faintly smoky oak. Full-bodied and intensely flavoured yet fresh and beautifully balanced. Layered, structured, long and complete. Accessible now if still young and tight, this will improve with another five to ten years in the cellar. Probus is always a good wine but this 2009 is exceptional. If it were a Médoc, it would cost upwards of $100. (Buy again? Done!)

Cahors 2009, The New Black Wine, Clos Triguedina ($69.00, 10706293)
To explain the origin of this bottling’s name, I can do no better than quote the Cahors entry in Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion: “The ancient town [of Cahors] on the River Lot […] is linked in the public mind with dramatic-sounding ‘black wine’. This was because so much of the wine made in Bordeaux was thin and travelled badly, and the merchants needed something to give strength and body to their exports. Their position at the commanding mouth of the Garonne enabled them to call the tune at Cahors, whose growers they encouraged to produce a thick, dark brew by boiling some of their wine, even fortifying it. This was the famous ‘black wine’, so celebrated, at least in myth, that Crimean winemakers produced a ‘Cahorski’ in tribute.” First produced in the mid-1990s, The New Black Wine is owner-winemaker Jean-Luc Baldès’ homage to the long-lost tradition. 100% Malbec from old vines. The grapes are hand picked and sorted, then laid on trays and gently heated overnight in a prune oven, slightly desiccating the fruit and concentrating the flavours. The wine is macerated and fermented in tanks and matured 18 months in new Allier oak casks. Reducing sugar: 2.4 g/l. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Sélections Fréchette.
While the other two wines are a deep magenta in colour, this is indeed much darker, purpler and opaque, though not black. Brooding nose of plum, prune, clean raw beef and a hint of virtual acidity. On the palate, it’s dense, rich and tightly wound, finely but intensely tanninc, possessed of fluent acidity and a velvety texture. The fruit is dark and dense but, somewhat to my surprise, not at all cooked or jammy. At this early point in its long life, it’s a bit monolithic though obviously deep, broad and long. Gets better and better as it breathes, indicating it will benefit greatly from extended cellaring (the winemaker recommends 20 to 30 years). (Buy again? Maybe, but I think I’d rather have two bottles of the splendid Probus instead.)

MWG November 12th tasting: flght 5 of 6

Written by carswell

January 8, 2016 at 13:36

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