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Clos La Coutale is one of the finest producers in Cahors - Philippe Bernard is the sixth generation of his family to oversee this 50-hectare estate in Cahors, a few hundred yards from the Lot River, just west of the town of Cahors. The property was founded 100 years ago by his great-great grandfather, Valmy, and now produces almost 20,000 cases annually.
The Clos is divided into two adjacent parcels, each distinct, in what looks like a natural amphitheatre. The higher of the two parcels is glacial moraine, shallow, rocky soil, well-drained and sun-drenched, while the lower parcel is alluvial gravel. The blend is 70% Malbec (known locally as Auxerrois), the traditional grape of the region, blended with 15% Merlot which gives finesse and bouquet and 15% Tannat which gives it its ageing potential. The grapes are vinified separately in stainless steel vats and the wine is then matured in a combination of small barriques and larger wooden foudres for 12 months before being bottled unfiltered.
Cahors is the most traditional and, in the eyes of some, most austere statement of Malbec....the original and, to many, the best, although its tannic power can be somewhat imposing, especially those who do not have a plate of game to hand. The solution of adding 10-15 % of Merlot to the blend was pioneered by Coutale and is now widely practiced. The result adds a fleshy plum-skin character to the earthy sub-plot, with ripe yet engaging tannins underlining both provenance and quality. Exceptional value.
Simon Field MW - Wine Buyer
Bottle 12 x 75cl33cs