World’s Best Malbec

The Cahors vineyard, dating back to Roman times, is one of the oldest in France.

Cahors wines are powerful and robust, with deep color that inspired the English phrase Black Wine of Cahors; adopted by the Orthodox Church as Mass wine, the court of the Tsars as ceremonial wine, the Black Wine is becoming increasingly popular with the wine enthusiasts of the 21st century, to whom it is better known as Malbec.

In fact, Malbec, (aka Côt, Côt Noir, Auxerrois, Pressac, etc.) is original to Burgundy but got its fame in Bordeaux and Cahors, source of the world’s best Malbec wines. Cahors wine could be enjoyed young, with the best examples eager to age for 10 years or more.

The city of Cahors, tucked into a rounded nook of the Lot River, is a lovely example of Medieval architecture. At the heart of wine country, the city’s most memorable landmark is the Valentré bridge, a 14th-century, six-span fortified stone arch bridge crossing the Lot River. The Valentré bridge has become the symbol of the city.

The happy news of the day is that one of world’s best Malbec (if not the best..), the Icône of Château de Haute-Serre, is now available at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.

The Icône is the ultimate achievement of the joint efforts of Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux, proprietor of several wine estates in the area, including Château de Haute-Serre and Château de Mercuès, and Paul Hobbs, the emblematic world’s top Malbec expert.

Paul Hobbs, Atanas and Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux at Vinexpo 2015

Paul Hobbs, Atanas and Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux at Vinexpo 2015

I had the opportunity to meet Paul Hobbs for the first time in June at Vinexpo in Bordeaux, at Vigouroux’s booth. Paul is the “flying winemaker” who consults for hundreds of wineries around the world, most notably in California and Mendoza, with his latest projects taking him to the oldest vineyards of the world in Eastern Europe. He is passionately involved in every one of his projects and that transpires in his engaging personality.

The Vigouroux/Hobbs cooperation began in 2008 after Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux visited Mendoza and invited Paul Hobbs to discover Cahors. Bertrand-Gabriel’s natural curiosity is constantly guiding him towards new horizons and discoveries and his obsession for perfection is the driving force behind the latest success of his wines.

2011 Icone de Haute-SerreThe vineyard of Château de Haute-Serre is a 70-acre single plot of Malbec planted on the slopes of a hill, the top of which marks the highest elevation of the appellation at 1000 feet.

The 2011 Icône of Château de Haute-Serre exhibits opaque purple-black color and aromas and flavors of black currant, blackberry and blue flowers; full-bodied, with solid but silky and well-integrated tannins, perfect balance and an impressive 30+ second finish. It is best enjoyed with grilled red meats and black truffle based dish. Quantities are very limited as total production is only 3000 bottles.

Atanas Nechkov, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine and spirits supervisor

Follow me on Twitter @abcwineatanas

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