‘Don’t cry for me Argentina,’ a Malbec from its homeland of Cahors!

‘Don’t cry for me Argentina,’ a Malbec from its homeland of Cahors!

Posted on Mar, 29. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

2007 Chateau Haut Monplaisir Tradition, Cahors
Retail price before [member discount|Our members save an average of 25% off the normal retail prices. As a courtesy to the retail wine industry we do not publish our prices.] $16.00 • Buy this wine!

Again I have to push off the wine I had intended to talk about today because another wine that is just making me giddy has been poured into my glass.

Cathy and Daniel Fournié of Haut-Monplaisir farm 44.5 acres on what the locals call the third terrace of the valley floor. These terraces, or benches, are layered gravel deposits left by the river over the ages. There are three such terraces in the valley; the third is the highest, furthest from the Lot, and the best by virtue of its well-drained soils. Above the third terrace come the mountain vineyards, high on the oak-scrub hills.

There has been so much interest in Argentinian Malbec lately and when you taste some of the better ones it is easy to understand why. Malbec is just a supper interesting grape and the ripeness it achieves in Argentina has given enough fruit to the wine so that it appeals to a broader market palate. But the folks in Cahors, France where they have been making wine exclusively from the Malbec grape for hundreds of years have taken notice and their are some amazing things going on.

Cathy took over the vineyards in 1998 from her father, who had sold the crop to négociants…They reached out to Pascal Verhaeghe, the dynamic proprietor of Château du Cèdre whose vineyards grow on the second terrace. Pascal immediately saw the potential of Haut Monplaisir’s site…Thus was born the partnership between Pascal and Daniel, who together are responsible for the wines of Haut Monplaisir.

We were flipping out for Chateau Haut Monplaisir in the 2006 vintage. This was a wine we had at a tasting last year and it stunned everyone even the distributor who represented it. Sadly, they quickly ran out of the 2006 and many Guild members were not able to obtain any. We have been waiting for the 2007 and it has finally come in. I bought a bottle and tasted in last Wednesday, it is unbelievably good, inexpensive Malbec, better than the ’06. The dedication and attention the wine makers are putting into this wine really are paying off.

They make three cuvées with careful use of micro-oxygenation, all 100% non-filtered Malbec. The first is a straight Cahors (Tradition), a dark, richly-fruited wine…All of the Haut-Monplaisir wines have terrific balance, with a brooding, high-toned quality of wild elegance.

The 2007 Chateau Haut Monplaisir has all of the ripeness of fruit that you would want from a New World style Malbec but it takes it to the next step retaining the depth and finesse of old world charm, the black richness and firm tannic structure of its heritage and the backbone of acidity that keeps the fruit from flattening out and flabbing out as so many southern hemisphere Malbecs tend to do.

This is a great deep red wine that is approachable now. However, the fact that most people who tasted this wine did so on Friday after three days of being open and all said “wow this is really good Malbec!” makes me believe this would be a great QPR for the cellar also. A Gold medal winner from the Medaille D’Or folks, this is a great wine.

2007 Chateau Haut Monplaisir Tradition, Cahors
Retail price before [member discount|Our members save an average of 25% off the normal retail prices. As a courtesy to the retail wine industry we do not publish our prices.] $16.00 • Buy this wine!

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