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Clos La Coutale Cahors 2007

Malbec from France
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

#76 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

The domaine has been in the family for six generations and is planted to the traditional varietals of Cahors – Malbec (locally known as ‘Cot'), which provides deep color, structure and tannin and Merlot, which softens the young wine and improves the bouquet. The wine is aged in large oak foudres before being bottled unfiltered. Although it can be enjoyed young, it ages very well.

Incredibly bright color, like the skin of a ripe black cherry, the aroma captivates. There is a suspicion of new oak, a jumble of black fruits (cherry, cassis, blackberry), plus a little corner of blueberry, plus a subtle smoky nuance, and a fleeting suggestion of black truffle. And the perfume is only the opening salvo. The palate is rich, loaded with delicious fruit. It is round, and tannic with superb balance and structure.

Critical Acclaim

WS 90
Wine Spectator

Big, rich and darkly colored—these are the descriptors for the best red wines from the Cahors district of southwest France. The leading grape is Malbec (that’s right, there was Malbec before Argentina) and now a small group of quality-oriented producers is pursuing a higher profile for Malbec in its homeland. Tannat and Merlot can also used in these blends. Besides an array of dark fruit flavors, the following wines from Cahors offer plenty of muscle and dense structures. They beg to be drunk with a juicy rib-eye or a roasted leg of lamb. There’s a good sense of elegance to the well-defined, concentrated flavors of dark cherry, blackberry and plum, followed by notes of sage, dark chocolate and tobacco leaf on the long, powerful finish. Drink now.

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Clos La Coutale

Clos La Coutale

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Clos La Coutale, , France - Other regions
Clos La Coutale
The winery's first award for quality came at the Concours Agricole de Paris in 1894 for its 1893 Cahors. That was was produced by the grandfather of the current owners.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism...

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character...

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.

In the Glass

From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

WBW30072662_2007 Item# 100362

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