2008 Chateau du Cedre , Cahors, South West France
Cahors is a region in the South West of France which is all about red wine, or more exactly, all about Malbec. This is one of the lesser known grape varieties used in the red wine blends of Bordeaux, but it has found its home in the drier climates of Cahors, and in the new world of Argentina where it is also generating a lot of buzz and excitement.
For a wine to bear the Cahors appellation, it must consist of 70% Malbec, which has prospered in the regions clay and limestone terraces. Here it produces wonderfully structured wines that have a real perfume to them and display a distinctive mineral character. I have not tried too many wines from Cahors, but after tasting this wine, I am hooked and I can understand why these are considered some of the best value wines coming out of France.
Château du Cèdre is widely regarded as the leading estate in Cahors and is home to brothers Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe. Pascal is a mathematician and perfectionist at heart who came to winemaking later in life. Although his father founded the winery in 1956, it wasn’t until a stint in Burgundy that the winemaking bug bit him and sent him back to the family estate. Since then he has crafted delightful wines that marry the power of Bordeaux with the delicacy of Burgundy, at least in my humble opinion.
The Chateau du Cedre consists of 90% Malbec, 5% Merlot and 5% Tannat. However this is all about Malbec.Whilst this wine is big and bold, it is not over the top. The colour is almost opaque with copious quantities of layered fruit filling your palate, dominated by chewy rich, black fruit, chocolate and spices. Full bodied with strong tannins, it is a fabulous wine that marries the power and elegance I love in a wine. To achieve this finesse and power at the same time they have scaled back on the use of new oak in recent vintages. The use of older and larger oak barrels has seen the wines from this winery shine in recent years, particularly from the classic 2008 vintage.
Of course your first point of call is a nice medium rare piece of steak, but the wines of Cahors, are also perfect with the local food which is based on wild game, truffles, mushrooms, duck and goose. You are looking for big strong hearty flavours to match the structure and tannins of the wine
This wine would easily keep for the next 3-8 years, and it will be drinking at its peak for another 4 years. In the meantime, decant for 20 minutes and you will replicate this aging experience and get to really enjoy this wine right now.