Clos Triguedina Malbec Blend Cahors New Black Wine 1999
The Baldes family has been making Cahors since 1830. Supposedly, 'triguedina' in Occitan derives from the expression 'il me tard de diner' (or to put it more pithily 'I want a drink!') and indeed the property is on the site of a former coaching house. The vineyards comprise 40 hectares of prime south-facing vineyard sites by Puy l'Eveque and contain the usual mixture of Malbec Merlot and Tannat. The style is radically different to Chateau du Cèdre, for the wines are austere and very minerally, requiring several years to soften. The new 'Black Cahors' is as black as a stack of black cats, a half-baked (literally) thoroughly pruny oddity, to wit, a revisitation of a traditional style of vinification. Using evidence garnered from old documents Jean-Luc Baldes has been experimenting in a corner of his cellar over the years with small batches of grapes and, now, finally, has produced this special limited release from his oldest vines in the best-located vineyards. Apparently, it is all in the timing and the ingredients - the French love their alchemy. Selected super-ripe grapes are put into a vat, heated quickly to nearly 60 degrees centigrade and the resulting juice goes into new oak barrels to brood and treacle darkly awhile. The resulting style is unique: dry, grippy, herby, yet also smooth and port-like with a whisper of prunes and truffles to come, a wine to cause you 'se casser la tete'.
Most recently I've had a couple of bottles of the '99 Clos Triguedina The New Black Wine, AOC Cahors. It's definitely part of the tradition of 'Black Cahors', with a *very* dark color. Dried fruit that's been candied, pureed and made into jam on the nose. Layers within layers. On the palate wild berries, spice, truffles, aromatic herbs. Nicely chewy texture. Obviously laid down in oak at the winery (1/3 new barrels, I believe) so plenty of tannins, and I got the impression the wine would age quite well. The bottles were allowed to breathe for three hours before drinking but still tasted young. The wine paired extremely well with game. Had it once with duck à l’orange, the other time with venison in a Cumberland sauce. Magnifique! I felt the wine would very likely go well with a number of braised red meats, and of course would stand up to even aged cheeses.