Friday, December 19, 2014
The last two weeks of #WineChat featured a discussion of the Wines of Southwest France - "a lush, hilly wine region that occupies the corner bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and Spain and the Pyrenees Mountains on the south. The region is home to a string of more than two dozen winemaking appellations whose producers are united by a passion for place. Some of the world’s great grape varieties originated here and many of the area’s lesser-known varieties are grown nowhere else."
One wine grape that originated there was Malbec, specifically from the sub-region of Cahors; another Negrette, from Fronton. For the second week I was sent samples of each from Chambers Street, the Cosse Maisonneuve 2009 Cahors Le Combal (13.5% ABV, $19.99) and Colombière 2010 Fronton Bellouguet (13.5% ABV, $15.99).
Cahors, is located due north of Toulouse, and the birthplace of the Malbec grape and is known locally as Cot or Auxerrois. AOC regulations in Cahors stipulates that Malbec must comprise at least 70% of all blends with Merlot and Tannat rounding out the rest. These are black wines, dark and chewy as perfected illustrated by the Cosse Maisonneuve 2009 Cahors Le Combal. This is a fantastic wine, cassis and stewed plum on the aroma, with deep chewy tannins. And I mean chewy and made from organic grapes.
Fronton is also located north of Toulouse, just not as far north and is home to Négrette, where at least 40% must be included in a final blend. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Malbec, Fer and Gamay are the other grapes permitted. The Colombière 2010 Fronton Bellouguet is a funky wine, where the aroma is sweet anise - very gin like - followed by dark fruit flavors with a nice transition into a juicy tannic finish. Another fantastic wine.
This is one wine region I'll continue to explore. Cheers.