LO DOMENI Pierre Pradel – Cahors Malbec Artisan Vigneron


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 AOP2016, 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 : contact@lodomeni.fr / +33 (0)6 07 90 67 80

Le Pech d’Auzonne, Vins des Côtes du Lot. “Escayrac”, 46800 Lascabanes BIO

Driving to my friends house to stay for a few days, I passed this vineyard and was drawn by the BIO notice.  So after a short discussion with my friend, who was very enthusiastic about their wine, we called in.

Just off the edge of the Cahors AOC Appellation, they have chosen to be Côtes du Lot.   With 3 ha of Cabernet-Franc, Malbec and Merlot, they have an excellent rosé and a choice of excellent reds.  They have been BIO since 2002 and the wine really does reflect their good choice.

Their soil is clay limestone, which is a perfect terroir for their choice of grapes.

We tasted their superb rosé, which is a very elegant, well structured, classic rosé.  The colour of pale salmon and light berries on the nose.  Tones of peach, red berries on a palate that was dry with good acidity.  Excellent choice in this heat, it was certainly very drinkable and well worth the few euros charged!!!  

 

Their red wines are also very beautiful, Cabernet-Franc with a blend of Malbec.  Clear and red ruby, they are also well structured with superb expressions of their terroir.  Tannins are still present, but balanced so paired with a suitable repas they are very good now, although best laid down for 3 – 5 years.  An excellent investment for 5 years time, we tasted their 2016 and 2015, which my friend bought a case to lay down, with a strict note not to be opened until December 2023…..

I was very impressed overall and would highly recommend a visit.  They are very kind people, generous with their time and happy to talk to about their wine.  They’re clearly devoted to producing the best wines possible, and I would be delighted to return anytime.

Contact Jean-Pierre or Claire Caumont: +33 5 65 22 95 72 or email : caumontjeanpierre@gmail.com   

Or visit their website:

http://www.lepechdauzonne.fr/

World Wines Hunter wines in Caillac, with Justine Coudert.

My dear friend Justine Coudert has, for many years, worked in the wine world.  She worked with well respected vintners for some time before branching out on her own with World Wines Hunter (based at present in Caillac, Cahors) to find and promote, export and import the worlds best wines, spirits and beer. 

Focusing on the terroir, a large percentage was organic at the start and even more so now too, Justine searches out many smaller vineyards with superb wines from around the globe.    Even with austerity hitting Europe, and the world, she determinedly seeks out the best and finds good clients for the wine.  I am in constant admiration of her.  And also of her partner Jesse who she is in collaboration with at “Madness Kitchen”, which concentrates on traditional cuisine, gastronomic, fusion and worldwide, bistronomic, vegetarian, vegan and family cooking.  Jesse is an excellent chef (cuisinier) so this outlet provides an excellent base to pair his cooking, with her excellent wines.  I’ll add a contact at the bottom of this blog.

I felt it was unfair of me to ask her to open too many bottles, so we kept to a small cross section instead, and you can visit her to find out more.  I would highly recommend you follow her on facebook at the very least as she regularly presents her wines, also with food pairings too.   

So…..onto the tasting.  

First of all, we tasted a very beautiful Provence rosé, from the producer Saint Sidoine, AOC Côtes de Provence and AOP co-operative. 

Grenache, Cinnsault, Syrah and Carignan.

Clear, pale salmon-gold in colour, the nose was peach stone, citrus hints and gooseberries which continued onto the palate.    Crisp, dry sharpness balanced well with delicate peach tones, acidity was barely present and continued with gooseberry and pale citrus fruits.    A very elegant wine that would pair well with salads and grillades.   I liked it very much!  The vineyard produces a superb white and also a red, of which one is then aged in oak barrels. 

 

 

She next chose an organic Bergerac from the vineyard; L’Epicuria de Tourmentine.  Tasting a 2015 red, with blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Clear purple in colour, with a blackurrant nose that hinted at peppery liquorice.  This followed through with a palate of dry dark berries and that lovely hint of spices.  Low levels of tannin appeared present which aided the medium body and complexity as well.  Liquorice and pepper in the medium finish enticed further tasting.   This is a small organic winery with a very good reputation that in my opinion is well earned.   They produce a couple of white wines as well, sweet and dry, also a rosé alongside their red.  

 

We moved onto the superb Lo Domeni wines from here in Cahors, however, as I visited Pierre the following day, I have left the details of the tasting to a full post of his wines and vineyard.

Justine has an excellent nose for superb wine and she represents some incredible vineyards.  A large percentage of her clients are organic and smaller producers and I have always trusted her instincts.   

She represents her vineyards at ProWein and will be in attendance in March 2020, I really do strongly suggest you go and find her as she will have wine definitely worth tasting and buying!

 

World Wines Hunter website (in English and French) https://en.worldwineshunter.fr/  

Contact Jesse G for the Madness Kitchen on gabet.jesse@gmail.com

Vignerons Independants du Lot – Puy l’Eveque new shop visit.

What a wonderful idea, for 2 months during the summer, the shop in Puy l’Eveque, on the main street next to Henrys Logis, is open!  Hosting a world of information about our incredible appellation, and the many wines offered by the vintners, this is the place to visit.     

Having seen the details on facebook, my friend Tony and I headed over yesterday evening to take some photos, have a look around and taste some wine.  Well I was definitely very much in luck as there was a winemaker there giving tastings of her wines.  

So let me start as we arrived in the parking area opposite the shop, which was an auto shop…..

The arrival was easy, we saw the barrels colourfully painted by the front entrance, the windows filled with boxes from many vineyards.   How fantastic!   It was easy to see, wide open and very welcoming.

 

Wandering inside there was an amazing amount of information about the vines, the Appellation and a superb range of wines available to taste and buy too.   I saw many photos of faces I know, lovely to see such support for the vineyards in front of me.  

We were welcomed into the shop and invited to taste the wines, to browse the information and see the range of wines from the local vineyards.   Speaking very good English, mixed with my “ok” French, we had a great chat about the wine and Tony and I tasted the wine from Domaine du Peyrie.  I was immediately impressed with the Chenin, sweet yet not overpoweringly so, delicate fragrance and light taste of peaches.   I tentatively tasted her rosé (it’s well knonw that I am very hard to please with Malbec rosé), the colour was pale salmon and the nose was also delicately simple, fruity and strawberry jam.  I tasted an excellent rosé!!  I was so impressed, that I asked to visit her vineyard to add to my list of vineyards.  I will leave the Malbec tastings for the more detailed visit, but suffice it to say that I am very excited to be visiting them.

There was such a great range of the vineyards, and many I adore already, so definitely add this to your list of places to visit, along with the Villa Malbec of course, to gain an insight into what I still perceive as being the best up and coming SW France Appellations.  

Visit  https://www.facebook.com/vigneronsindependants.dulot/   to see what they are currently doing.  Perhaps I will see many of you at the Fête next week!

Back in Black!

I feel at home here, the wine, the people, the wine, the vineyards, the wine and …. oh did I mention the wine!  I fell in love, heavily and at first sip many years ago while researching Cahors Malbec for a book I was writing.  I met the wonderful Armand, who has remained a dear friend for those many years, and he introduced me to the magic of black!  The black wine of Cahors, has been beloved of so many people, over so many years and so many countries that it seems hard to find somewhere to start again.  

But here I am, with a new fresh blog, and gone is the dark heavy black of years gone by, here now is the light and refreshing, the deep and enticing, and the powerfully complex wines that makes Cahors Malbec very very special.  

I am blessed to have visited the best of the best over the years, and to have brought recognition to some of those.  I am utterly DETERMINED to make sure you, my dear reader, is aware of the best of Cahors Malbecs incredible wines.  

As before, I will not write a bad review, that’s not beneficial to Cahors.  I have tasted and visited and written about Cahors Malebc, the original Malbec, over many years now and I know a good and bad wine here – technically, actually and with my own personal taste too.  Which is why it would very unfair of me to pass on bad reviews.  That said, I WILL write up and extole the virtues of the best of the best!  The WOW! wines of today.

You have all had faith in me, and my suggestions for several years, and I will not let you down…… Here goes ……

Cahors, a summary…..

Cahors in the South West of France is a stunning location, bordering the Lot River, is blessed with the incredible minerality that infuses the best of the vineyards wines.  Along the river, the lighter, more fruity wines are a delight to drink, refreshing and with beauty.  Moving up through the terraces, increasing the complexity of the terroir and adding to that the knowledge of the next generation winemakers, artisans and magicians! Finishing on the Plateau, with the ability to create the powerful, complex wines with depth and expression.

After being discovered by the Romans over 2000 years ago, for centuries Cahors Malbec, or Cot Noir / Auxerrois as it was known as then, was beloved of the Kings of France and England, the Tzars of Russia and as the Papal wine. It graced the wedding tables at the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and was imported to England via the rivers. Until the 100 years war removed the English from France and taxes made exportation impossible for the small appellation. Phylloxera and 2 world wars depleted the vineyards, and after another harsh blow with hard frosts and hail, it has taken time to bring the current wines to our attention once again. Argentinian Malbec (our own vines taken to Argentina by an enterprising young Frenchman) has aided our presence once again onto the world wine stage, but never forget, that each and every Malbec grape, orginated from here in Cahors. The magic has spread.

Please stay with me as I update and re-visit the iconic vineyards of Cahors.

Welcome! Bienvenue!

Thank you for joining me on my continued Wine Journey.

This is my “new & improved” Wine Blog, concentrating on World Wines, and continuing to specialise in the magical wines of Cahors in the South West of France.

Please read on as I update and re-visit the iconic vineyards of Cahors and also explore this amazing World of Wines….