Two Expressions of Malbec From One of Cahors' Most Respected Winemakers
by Cynthia Hurley
Clos Triguedina Petit Clos Cahors 2006
On Sale $16.99
Clos Triguedina Clos Triguedina Cahors 2006
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Jean-Luc Baldes in his vineyard during harvest
Great Cahors is one of the richest and inkiest wines you'll ever put in your mouth. It is a strapping, hearty red. Oh, don't worry, there is nothing coarse about Cahors, it is just big-boned - lots of flesh in the right places.
"It is impossible to separate Clos Triguedina from the name Cahors. Jean-Luc Baldès is a passionate grower possessed by true know-how and the determination to produce wines of great distinction." - La Revue du Vin de France
Etienne Baldès planted Clos Triguedina in 1830. Today, Jean-Luc is the eighth generation to be in charge of the winery. Jean-Luc Baldès took over this Domaine in 1990 and has put this estate in the elite of Cahors growers. The name Clos Triguedina means "longing to dine" in Occitane, and I can relate to that. There are few things better than a duck breast sizzling and a glass of Clos Triguedina.
The Lot River gets very curvy as it runs through Cahors. There are places where you feel like you're on an island because you can see the river running on both sides of you. Cahors is a very old wine town to the east of Bordeaux. With vines planted by the Romans, the people of Cahors were making wine when the Bordelais were still drinking beer.
For me, these are the wines you come upon after swilling a tsunami of humdrum juice and you set down your glass and say, "Okay, thank God, I'm done. I've found what I'm after." This was pretty much what happened to me a few years ago at a tasting in the south of France.
The Cahors vineyards are where Malbec has had its greatest success. The Malbec grape ripens perfectly here in the area's hot sunny summers. But the wonderful thing about Cahors is that growers pick it at peak maturity and never allow for over-ripening which can raise alcohol levels to a heady 15% or more. Here you can count on a flavorful and refreshing 13 to 13.5%.
Two of my favorite reds from the Domaine are: Clos Triguedina and Petit Clos. Clos Triguedina is a blend of 80% Malbec (known locally and historically as Auxerrois), 15% Merlot, 5% Tannat which is a relative of Malbec. This wine comes from a prized plot in the appellation. The soil is clay-limestone. There is severe selection to eliminate inferior grapes. The wine is raised in one-third new oak with the rest aged in one and two-year-old barrels.
But there is another wine as well which is very easy on your wine budget: Petit Clos. Every time I serve Petit Clos at a tasting, it comes out way ahead of far more expensive wines. It's a big wine for the price; Jean-Luc suggests a half hour of decanting before drinking. The cepage is 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot. Petit Clos is aged partially in oak. There is severe selection and a green harvest in the vineyard. You will taste red fruits and some licorice.
Black and red fruits will dance from the glass and the tannins will be lithe with these Cahors. They are some of the finest expressions of Malbec in the world! - Cynthia Hurley
On Sale $16.99