(2018) It's an interesting 'back to his roots' story for French winemaker Hervé Fabre, synonymous with Malbec from Argentina where has made wine for over 30 years, including his well-known Viñalba label. He has recently taken over an estate in Cahors, the European home of Malbec, and the first two wines from it are now being stocked by the retailer Roberson, an excellent Cahors destined to age labeled Prieuré De Cénac, and this more approachable wine that retails for £5 less. It's a wine that expresses that lovely Malbec 'lift' very well, violet, cassis and even some fragrant peach notes, before a palate that carries through some of that peach juice-edged character in the crisp black fruit, grippy, but fine Cahors tannins and juicy and fresh acidity. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas. On offer at £11.99 at time of review.
(2013) A certain meatiness here, much more on the muscular/solid side aromatically than some, a certain inky quality too. Really nice palate: such solidity to the fruit at the core of this, not without charm with a keen cherry edge to the chocolaty plum and espresso hint. The tannins are big but really ripe, and the acid balance is excellent. Very good.
(2013) Opaque/crimson black. Dense, meaty, a touch animal and earthy, maybe lacks a little light and shade. Lovely fruit purity, a real seam of blue/black ripe but bittersweet fruit, and I like the concentration and balance too.
(2013) Coffee and meatiness, and also a little more softness to the colour suggests a bit of age. There's a deal of ripe berry fruit too. The tannins are dry, but there's a sense of ripeness too, a lot of polish and sweet fruit adding to the creamy oak to give a supple appeal. Balanced, with acidity keeping the edges sharp, and it is quite long
(2013) Back to a young, primary wine again, but one perhaps a little too dominated by gravy browning, meat stock oak. Thankfully the sweet ripeness and elegant creaminess of the fruit does come through on the palate, though the big tannins of grape and oak are just a bit too drying. The impression is of dry fruit extract in the finish, though the acidity is good.
(2013) Savoury, with a gently herbal, meaty character, but solid colour and solid black fruit in there too. The sweetness of fruit comes through powerfully, another very good wine this, with all the components balanced and a long, chewy, but fresh finish.
(2013) A little glimpse of kirsch and cherry here to lighten the picture - to add highlights - with solid, creamy fruit and nicely handled oak beneath. The palate is vinous and concentrated, with a savoury lick to the plummy fruit and bittersweet, plum-skin character of tannins and acidity. A big wine, the spice and tannins tingling on the lips, but great concentration and quality.
(2013) Creamy, cappuccino and charry oak dominates a little, but there seems to be real substance beneath and a depth of black fruit. Coffee on the palate too, the oak is a little overpowering, though I do like the fruit concentration, the fleshy sweetness and the spice. Tannins are dry and forceful, acidity is good. Another Cahors that would be interesting to see in three to five years to see if it integrates more.
(2013) Quite a lot of smoky, toasty oak here, but well integrated with the fruit. Dry in the mouth, there is a nice balance here, the sweet, creamy ripe blackcurrant fruit suffused with vanilla and clove spice, and a pleasing balance of acidity. A more broadly appealing, arguably more commercial style, and very well done.
(2013) Made from a selection of the best parcels of vineyard, all more than 30 years old and harvested with a very low yield. The wine is aged for 22 months in all-new French oak barrels. It is interesting approaching this wine knowing that I was looking for the Brett component, and I did find it - though nowhere near as pronounced as in my French tasting. There's just a touch of that elastoplast (band-aid) character in the background, a character that moves between cedary and savoury to lightly animal, but difficult to pin down. One thing is certain, the robust black fruit and sense of graphite is allowed to show more clearly. In the mouth this has the same delicious, juicy and sweet blackberry and plum fruit that I found first time round, with a stripe of liquorice and chicory firmness to the spicy, grippy tannins. It is just a touch short, the 15% alcohol also adding a bit of heat, but it has lots of substance and style. Overall, I still think this is an imperfect wine. Returning to it again and again in the glass over an hour my opinion flitted between definite Brett and something wild, tarry and gamey that was less easy to pinpoint. My final conclusion is that Brett is there, but for whatever reason it is not nearly so pronounced as the first bottle (maybe the bottle had been open much longer, or the wine came from a different barrel?). I enjoyed this much more and would score it