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15 June 2012

Southwest: Château Lacapelle Cabanac, Cahors

Updated Jan 2013 (see below).

I rather like Cahors and its Malbec based red wines, and I came across Château Lacapelle-Cabanac at this year's Millésime Bio organic wine show going back a few months. Owner-growers Philippe Vérax and Thierry Simon have been doing it organically since 2005, and their handsome 20 ha (50 acre) property is found in a microscopic village that shares the same name to the west of Cahors town. Their address is simply "le Château, Lacapelle-Cabanac..." Like that, shouldn't be too hard to find then. Their vineyards are planted on this area's distinctive chalky scrubland at 300 metres altitude (nearly 1000 feet), where there's also a bit of Merlot. More @ www.lacapelle-cabanac.com, where you'll find distributors in Europe, North America and Australia even.

2010 Tradition Cahors (80-20 Malbec-Merlot) - a touch reduced/baked on the nose, 'inky' and concentrated with meaty vs dark fruit combo, nice rounded tannins with rich vs crunchy vs peppery finish. Good in the end. €6.45 cellar door.
2007 Prestige Cahors (90-10 Malbec-Merlot, 14-18 months oak ageing) - toasty coconut notes and grainy texture, more concentrated though with grippy still structured mouth-feel vs developing savoury edges. Good+ €8.85.
2007 'Malbec XL' Cahors (100% Malbec, 2 years in oak) - showing lots of smoky bacon oak, rich extracted and concentrated palate; still surprisingly young and closed up, good but is that oak ever going to fully melt in? €13

I caught up with Philippe on a late autumn 2012 wine touring trip around the heart of Malbec country itself, at the 'Cahors Malbec Lounge', a groovy wine bar cum office for the producers' association in the town centre... Follow this links for tasters of my three-part report:
Cahors: Malbec roadtrip part 1 Château Les Croisille - Château Combel La Serre - Château Tour de Miraval (contains links to these posts):
Cahors: Malbec roadtrip part 2 - Châteaux du Cayrou, Famaey, Métairie Grande du Théron, Latuc.
Cahors: Malbec roadtrip part 3 - Châteaux Haute-Serre, La Caminade, Armandière...

Anyway, I (re)sampled these vintages of his three reds:
2011 Cahors (12.5%) - aromatic and crunchy red fruits, fresh and firm palate with nice elegant fruit, lighter style this vintage.
2007 Prestige - coconut overtones, rich and extracted, concentrated though with powerful grippy mouth-feel layered with maturing dark vs herby fruit; the oak has melted in a little, long firm finish.
2009 Malbec XL - dense dark colour, pretty coconut oaky vs rich ripe plum fruit with spicy herb edges, powerful and extracted with gripping structured palate, young and not very revealing; too much new oak though, he does like to extract! Try it again in a year or two... €14

Cahors: special wine touring report updated
November 2015 and September 2016.
You can now buy my special Cahors wine touring supplements as a huge French wine PDF magazine, featuring all three parts of my Malbec road trip trilogy originally posted on French Mediterranean Wine, plus bonus winery profiles from this exciting region of south-west France AND new profiles and notes on ten organic estates including Lacapelle-Cabanac's latest (added Nov. 2015). This is all now part of a bigger French e-magazine available as a PDF with lots of photos delivered by email OR as a Kindle e-book on Amazon - none of it is viewable on the blog. Click on the title link above to find that PayPal button or links to Amazon.

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.