ABOUT: The most well known AC in southwestern France is Cahors and Chateau du Cayrou is one of the standout producers. The PowerPoint slide in wine class would say that Malbec and Tannat, two of the main grape varieties of southwest France, were used to bulk up wines in Bordeaux prior to the onslaught of phylloxera. Both clawed there way back and Bordeaux has exploded with success while southwest France has remained quiet, making few great wines. Over the decades Chateau du Cayrou has passed through a few hands and since 2009 has been operated by Julien Goursaud, son-in- law of the owner. His first order of business was to fine tune the vineyard by reducing the number of usable vines to 15 hectares rather than the 30 originally planted. Some of the slopes just didn’t produce the quality he’s looking for. Bold move to cut half of your output. Organic certification was also an achieved goal and all wines are certified organic from 2012 on. These are sophisticated, well made wines that are built to age; we should all feel lucky to be able to taste Malbec from it’s homeland for very little money.
TASTE: Chateau du Cayrou’s 2012 La Tour is mostly Malbecand with a small percent Merlot. The vines are on their way to being 50 years old and the wines they make are dry, dense and dark with aromas and flavors of blackberries, raspberries, chocolate, oregano, thyme, black pepper, mint, wet soil, andsmoke. The finish is long, the body is a medium and the tannins have relaxedand the acid is at a perfect tremor. This La tour is going to age gracefully for another 20 years.
PAIR: Vegetarian Cassoulet with mushrooms and chard, spicy black bean burger, Empenadas stuffed with beans and corn, and pasta with black truffle and parmesan.