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In 2014 we traveled to Montpellier, France to attend the organic wine fair Millesime Bio. Planning ahead, various samples from leading Cahors estates who did not participate in the show, were sent to the hotel. This mission was quickly set back after tasting the traditionally-made Black Wine from Malbec after breakfast. The nose was not giving and gritty tannins reduced the enjoyment of the young wines to zero. Thoughts were how long would one need to wait for them to mature and display the characteristic undergrowth and plum aromas? Never, ever? These wines do progress glacially.

At the fair we were luckily offered an altogether different experience with many producers using different winemaking techniques to soften the tannins and making wines earlier fleshier. Meeting Daniel Fournié and tasting his wines we quickly realized these will offer more in the glass than most Bordeaux at the same price.

Daniel and Cathy followed a dream and settled on this 30 hectare property in 1998. Quick self learners and with help from the Creators of Malbec, the Verhaeghe brothers from Château du Cèdre, they converted the vines to organic treatments and brought the soil back to life and with it interesting aromas in the glass.

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We recommend dwelling into the life of Southwest France. A region still undeveloped, changing at its own rate like the great wines of Cahors.

Haut Monplaisir Prestige 2014: 20 year old vines. As usual, the Cuvee Prestige represents all the richness of Malbec from Cahors. Dark as the night, with a powerful bouquet full of charming aromas: dark summer fruits, sweet spices, pastry and fresh butter, pepper and laurel, a hint of smoke…On the palate, it shows a rich and mellow character, fresh and generous, with silky, well structured tannins. It ends with a long and delicate finish, full of sweet spices. You may appreciate it now or keep it for another six years in the cellar. Food pairings: roast chicken with tarragon, ribeye steak with vigneronne sauce, black pudding with apples. Wine Enthusiast rated 93 points

Prestige

Haut Monplaisir Tradition 2015: The unoaked version offers a welcoming bouquet of cassis and pepper, evolving towards ripe fruits and hazelnuts. Juicy and crisp on the palate, due to fresh acidity and well integrated tannins. This wine demands to be shared with some good friends, accompanied by succulent food: Pork roast with mushrooms, lasagne, stuffed vegetables, gratin…Food recommandation : Pairs matches with roast chicken, porc chops as well as cheese. Wine Enthusiast rated 89 points

Tradition