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The wines of Clos Triguedina, Cahors

UK agent: Les Caves de Pyrene (they also have a retail shop open to the public)
Pew Corner, Old Portsmouth Road, Artington, Guildford GU13 1UP, tel: 01483 538 820, email: sales@lescaves.co.uk

Clos Triguedina was first planted in 1830 by Etienne Baldès, and eight generations on the vineyard is owned by the same family – these wines were presented by Jean-Luc Baldès, the current winemaker.

The vineyard was totally replanted in the 1880s following phylloxera, and because it enjoys a favourable microclimate it was only partially affected by the great frosts of 1956, which caused havoc in the appellation. As a result, Triguedina has some very old vines, which is unusual in this region.

But for all its history, this domaine is one of the modernizers in Cahors, with a spanking new winery and lots of new barrels. Interestingly, Baldès does two deliberately different styles of wine. The Clos de Triguedina demonstrates typicity, and the Prince Probus super cuvee demonstrates what he calls ‘the power of Cahors’. I like them both very much.

I’m keen on the wines of southwestern France generally. They’re interesting. And these are as good a starting point as any for getting a sense of the potential that is now being realised by dedicated growers.

Château Balmont 1998 Cahors
This wine isn’t aiming at complexity, but forward fruit. Baldès says it is pitched at people who don’t like Cahors! Open, striking nose of savoury red fruits and damsons. Very stylish. The palate is dominated by soft, inky sweet-edged fruit with some Cahors ‘darkness’ lurking in the background. Very good+ 87/100

Clos de Triguedina 1999 Cahors
80% Malbec (known locally as Auxerrois), 15% Merlot, 5% Tannat. One third new barrels. 30 years minimum vine age. Dark wine with a savoury, intense nose. The palate is almost impenetrable – chewy and tannic with lots of firm red and black fruits. Good typicity here. Very good+ 89/100

Clos de Triguedina 2000 Cahors
Sweet, slightly smoky fruit on the nose. This is another dark wine. The concentrated, spicy-edged palate is taut and massively structured with lots of power. Very savoury and traditional in style. Very good/excellent 91/100

Prince Probus 1999 Cahors
100% Malbec aged in new Allier oak. This shows ripe, sweet fruit with a spice and coffee blast from the new oak. Very classy and intense – quite exotic. Hugely concentrated spicy, chunky palate with lots of new oak masking the Cahors savouriness a little. Very good/excellent 90/100

Prince Probus 2000 Cahors
Opaque red/purple colour. Knockout nose of roast coffee, spice and sweet fruit: exotic and rich. The palate is hugely concentrated with ripe berry fruits and firm, smooth tannins. This is boldly flavoured stuff although currently the spicy oak is just a little prominent. Very good/excellent 91/100

see also: Spotlight on the wines of Cahors

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