The earliest part of Clos La Coutale’s cellar dates back to 1779, making it one of the oldest domaines in Cahors. Philippe Bernède has been at the helm since 1985 and is the 6th generation of his family to make wine at the 100ha estate, whose vineyards lie on the gentle alluvial slopes that rise up from the Lot River.
“For at least two decades, the Clos la Coutale’s wine has been unmistakable in flavour personality and offered terrific value,” David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate.
The wine is imported into the US by wine guru Kermit Lynch, which itself is a huge endorsement. “In the lunchroom of our Berkeley retail shop, two shelves line the wall next to our kitchen table. On these shelves stand the best, most memorable wines ever tasted on these premises. Names like Jayer, Coche-Dury, Tempier, and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti jump out, and vintages date back to the ‘50s and ‘60s. Upon closer inspection of our ‘Wall of Fame,’ certain ‘unexpected’ bottles appear: a 1985 Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sélectionée par Kermit Lynch, a 1961 Savennières from Château d’Epiré, and tasted just a few years ago, a 1959 Cahors from Clos la Coutale. The presence of Clos la Coutale amongst the titans of Burgundy is a testament to the phenomenal quality this domaine has offered us for now more than three decades.”
Past vintages of the wine have been named in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 (2009) and Wine Enthusiasts Top 100 Best Buys (2014).
The wine is a blend of 80% malbec and 20% merlot, although sometimes there’s also a touch of tannat. Various parcels of fruit from the vineyard were fermented separately in stainless steel, after which they were blended together and spent 12 months in ‘foudre’ which are larger than typical oak barrels. The finished wine is 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with cork.
In the glass the Clos La Coutale Cahors Malbec is clear, dark rosey red. On the nose, sweet jubey red fruit, rose and anise mingle with green vegetal notes. On the palate - pomegranate and dark cherry notes topped with pepper and graphite. Clean, crisp acid with tannins fresh and soft. This is mid-weight and approachable, far from the black brooding wine of cahors.
|Brand||Clos la Coutale|