SUMMARY OF WINES (more detail in Blog below):
(Prices by the bottle, ex cave August 2019)
Le Clos 2016 – 100% Malbec, Organic. Traditional, berries & dark fruits, supple and elegant, easy to drink, pair with salad, lighter meat. 7,90 €
Vendemia 2015 – 100% Malbec, Organic. 12 months in barrels, 50/50 oak and clay jarre, dar fruits, liquorice, depth and character, pair with darker meats. 13,90 €
“V” 2016 – 100% Malbec, Organic. Vinification in oak, then aged in oak barrels 12 months, intense blacurrant, liquorice, spices on finish, powerful and complex, superb on own or with dark meat. 23,00 €
Le Côté Rosé 2018 – Malbec / Merlot, Organic. Red fruits, dry, balanced acidity, elegant and superb! Drink on its own or with salads, lighter meats. 5,90 €
Visit the vines: Back in early 2013, when I was beginning my Cahors Malbec journey, I first visited Pierre Pradel at his vineyard “Lo Domeni” in Caillac, Cahors. I have since visited many times and I consider Pierre a very dear, personal friend now too, with my children having spent much time running through his vines (their “vines in line making wine”), and always enjoying visiting him. Having since travelled around many Cahors vineyards, of which there are over 200, I know a good number very well now, but always adore seeing Pierre and tasting his superb wines. He has very high standards and has always set that bar at the very top!
An early visit, and tasting, back in May 2013
And my latest visit August 2019
The man!! Pierre Pradel is an incredibly intuitive artist, and his wine represents this. Having taken over his fathers vineyard back in 2004, he planned to start vinification in 2006. But with no money, no cellar and no tanks, he needed to find funds. He managed to gain investors against the wine, whose foresight let him build up the tools and machinery to begin his winemaking. After many years working within the wine industry, up in Paris and also in Toulouse, Pierre had gained a wealth of excellent experience in the industry, which aided him enormously in then developing his wines.
“Small and Beautiful” : Pierres vineyard is made up of a total of 6 hectares of vines, mostly Malbec, but also a little Merlot as well. His 40+ year old vines had been taken care of by his father and are situated at the end of Chateau Lagrazette land, where his father had worked, and is ideally situated on the 3rd terrace of jurassic minerality that makes up the Cahors Appellation. The soil is calcium rich with iron oxide and clay, and is a terroir which Malbec can express beautifully through the right wine, which it certainly does in Lo Domenis case!
BIO Accreditation: Pierre worked hard on developing the vineyard and his cellar, and due to his hard work, dedication and total commitment, he has this year (2019) gained his Organic (BIO) accreditation, for which I am beyond proud.
He has also continued expanding his cellar, and in addition to his stainless steel tanks and oak barrels, he also now has a 5hl clay jarre, which works superbly well in expressing the clay terroir, and a cement “diamond” which allows microscopic amounts of oxygen into the fermentation process. A new building also houses the bottles and finished wine, allowing the extra fermenation processes to have space in the cellar.
The Malbec grape, aka Auxerrois or Côt, is the main cepage here in Cahors and has been for over 2000 years. It is the original Malbec, that we know from New World Wines and has been beloved by Kings and Tzars for centuries. It is now only those artisan vintners who watch, learn and listen to the vines, who can then create the real magic of the Black Wine, expressing it across light and fruity wines, all the way to the complex and very powerful wines that we associate Cahors with. And Pierre has watched, has listened, and has learned … about the vines & grapes, and the terroir and how to work with it, which is why he has very beautiful, expressive wines.
Tasting the magic……
“Le Côté Rosé “, IGP, 2018 which has a 80/20 Malbec Merlot (13.5%abv) (this may change according to each vintage as he is very empathic each year). IGP.
Mechanically harvested and vinified in thermo-regulated stainless steel tanks, this year it was run off after approximately 4 hours (2018), and then had a long fermentation at low temperatures.
Clear pale salmon in colour, with gentle tears, this is a well structured, elegant wine, with a clean nose of fresh red fruits, strawberries and sharp gooseberries, which then follows through into the silky palate of delicate fresh with strawberries and red fruits. Off dry with low acidity and a hint of goosberries. A short, fresh finish seducing the taster into another sip….. This is, for me, an outstanding wine which could be paired with salads, fish, white meats, or quite simply enjoyed entirely on it’s own!
“Le Clos” 100%, Malbec AOP – 2016, using grapes from 35 year old vines.
Mechanical harvest, then vinified in stainless steel tanks.
Another elegant wine, this is a clear dark ruby red wine, with a nose of fresh dark fruits, which follows through into a wonderful burst of flavour on the palate. Dry with low tannins, it is a well structured traditional wine, with gentle spices in the finish. Easy to drink and can be paired with many dishes from salads, to some mild spicy foods. I love this wine so much and I have seen it change from year to year, with some being very light and fruity, and this vintage has a little more depth and darker berries to it.
Nex to “Vendemia”, 100% Malbec AOP – 2015, 40 year old vines.
Manual harvest, vinification in oak casks.
Aged for 6 months in oak, and 6 months in clay jarre. A darker ruby colour to this, and once again darker berries, with blackcurrant being present in the nose and on the palate, liquorice and hint of chocolate (for me), with spices appearing in the finish. The tannins, still present this year, are melting beautifully, creating a depth and complexity, with a generous long finish. For me, I would pair this with a suitable dish, although of course you could simply drink it on it’s own and admire the wines purity. I’ve always loved this creation of Pierres!
Finally we have Pierres secret weapon …
“V”, 100% Malbec AOP – 2016
Harvested by hand from 40 year old vines, ensuring only the best grapes are used, then vinified in oak. Semi carbonic fermentation lasts for 5 – 6 days only, followed by gentle pumping over and cap punching. Aged in oak barrels for 12 months (with 4 months of lees stirring).
The colour of this dark , true “black wine” is incredible. The moment your nose goes near it, you are greeted by warm, powerful dark fruits, liquorice and confiture. The first taste does not disappoint as these flavours intensify in the mouth, the tannins of this great wine are already creating the powerful magic, with spices and chocolate. Intense, with complexity, yet still very elegant. A long finish allows you to savour this excellent wine. Still young, it holds its own among the great wines, lay it down for 5 – 10 years and I will be very excited to taste it then.
Summary: In short, Pierre Pradel is a humble man but with great passion, determination and dedication, and his wines reflect the man. Each time we meet, I feel very lucky to know him, and to be able to witness the journey of his wine.
Please visit him, taste his wine, buy his wine, and tell others of his superb wine.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/LoDomeni/
Website : http://www.lodomeni.fr/
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org / +33 (0)6 07 90 67 80