(2024) 100% Malbec, this comes from the highest of the Cahors terraces, with the oldest alluvial soil before you reach the limestone plateau at the top of the slope. It was aged mostly in large vats, but with a proportion matured in smaller oak barrels. There's a real ripeness and supple gloss to this, defying the old idea of Cahors being tannic and rustic. Instead, here there is a swathe of crushed black berries and ripe plum, everything plush and sweet including the creamy tannins and pert cherry acidity. Balanced and easy to enjoy with its overall elegant and ripe appeal. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2018) From winemaker Hervé Fabré, who has spent decades making Malbec in Argentina before buying this estate in Cahors, in his French homeland. It's a wine that has soaked up its oak barrel-ageing effortlessly, the nose dominated by blueberry and cassis, a dark black plum edge, and lovely notes of Malbec's more floral and feminine side too, elegant, peppery and gently lifted. Like its little brother, the Mission de Picpus, the super-fruity, peachy edge to the palate is delightful, here set against much more substantial tannins, darker, more savoury fruit, and good acid structure, suggesting this will age well for a decade or more.
(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.
(2014) Fruit comes from Vigoroux's own vineyards in Châteaux de Haute-Serre and Mercuès, the vines between 27 and 35 years of age. Haute-Serre sits on a plateau above the Lot Valley floor, with plentiful sun exposure. It has a rock-strewn surface with two feet of red clay and iron concretions over limestone and patches of blue clay. Mercuès is on the third terrace of the Lot, with sandy-clay soils which are poor and have excellent drainage. Lovely colour, very dense and flowing, bright violet/crimson. Very fine nose after 18 months in 50% new, 50% one-year old French oak barrels. Really nice aromatics, creamy and rounded but there's a herbal spice and leafiness, a touch of floral. On the palate the tannins are grippier and tighter than the Argentinean tannins, but it has a savoury, earthy character as well as the very sweet and ripe fruit. Delicious hints of violet and tight kirsch flavours, the purity of the fruit is excellent and it still has structure and acidity at its core.
(2013) Vinous nose, a touch earthy. On the palate a little more juicy, a red fruit character quite light, but spicy, if slightly dilute in the finish.
(2013) More mature colour and aromas, with a touch of caramel even to solid red fruit and a little violetty edge just showing through. The palate has a juiciness and a freshness, a nice core of creamy fruit set against the tannins. Dry but balanced and savoury.
(2013) Interesting touch of beetroot and vegetal character here, with dense and inky black fruit, but all tight and a bit ungiving. The palate too is inky and a touch impenetrable: it's a dense, structured and concentrated wine, very good purity, but perhaps a touch too inky and extracted.
(2013) A slightly caramel character, just a little more cooked and pruney than I'd ideally like to see. On the palate obvious sweetness to the fruit, with good balance between fruit and tannin, oak and acidity, into a long, spice cupboard finish.
(2013) Vinous, with red fruits and a savoury, quite earthy/vegetal aspect, a touch of charcoal and cedar too perhaps. The palate has a delicious creaminess of texture and sweet fruitedness against the polished oak and smooth tannins. Good balance, good acidity.
(2013) Quite a dry, fruit forward plum skin and cherry style, with a nice little inky/smoky quality and suggestion of minerality. The palate is a big blast of juicy, vital and sweetly ripe fruit over huge tannins, the bittersweet plum and cherry skin bite of the acidity and fruit is lovely too. It has lots of spice and power, and a touch of heat, but well done.