Modern Cahors

CahorsCh. de Mercuès is a proper if very elegant castle.  Its website shows the towers of chateau emerge form the mists of South West France.  On the same website the wine plays second fiddle to the luxury hotel but nonetheless they are clearly proud of it.

In the glass the wine comes over as a powerful modern example of Cahors. Made from the Malbec grape variety, it is impressively deep in colour with a lively purple edge.  After a few moments in the glass, the new oak aromas begin to emerge over plum fruit and just a hint of violet.  The palate is full and rounded, with some evident warming alcohol.  14.5% testifies to the ripeness of this harvest (2011) but that alcohol is a bit overdone for me. Old style Cahors used to be tough and inky; it needed decades to come around.  But we are now all in a hurry and so  the winemaker seeks very ripe fruit with surprisingly soft tannins, no doubt helped by the use of a proportion of new oak to age the the wine which also adds layer of vanilla and cinnamon.  The milk chocolate notes also recalls Malbec in its modern Argentinian guise. There is some length  on the palate.  Clearly the wine has capacity to age old vintages are available from a French online website which specialises in Malbec.  The wine is also available in UK for £15 or so.   Good, powerful drinking in a contemporary style. 

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