Two Cahors to convert the reluctant. Anyone who is a fan already (or becomes one) should consider laying down some of Château de Chambert’s excellent 2007 Grand Vin, even though owner Philippe Lejeune and consultant Stephane Derenoncourt say that the 2008 wines are better and the 2009s better again. The 2007 will easily keep another ten years.
2007 Château de Chambert Cahors Malbec
Ink-dark, dense and ripe, with a plum and blackberry perfume, light smoky oak, thick but ripe, velvety tannins and a mineral-fresh finish. Try it with confit de canard (a doddle to make, by the way) or a steak. Or cellar it for another five or more years. 13% abv.
£14.50-£14.99 Halifax Wine Co, Noble Rot Wine Warehouses, Cornelius Beer & Wine, Liberty Wine.
2007 Clos La Coutale Cahors
Various vintages of this have been my house-wine when I’ve been staying in the region over the years. It’s a softer, lighter, more approachable style than many, but light is a relative term in Cahors – and this is still unmistakeably Cahors. Spicy blackberry fruit, a soft, savoury graphite note and rounded tannins. 13% abv.
£7.25, The Wine Society; £8.45, or £7.60 by the case, Berry Bros & Rudd.
Domaine Aubert Vouvray Mousseux Brut
Snappy, fresh, yeasty and appley on the nose, with flavours of apricot and apple, a hint of honey and lemony acidity; appetising dry, not penitentially dry. I’d much rather drink this Loire fizz than most of the semi-sweet, banana-flavoured Prosecco that are on the shelves.
£11.95, Yapp Brothers