Les Quelles de la Coste: the wines of actor John Malkovich

These wines are from the estate owned by actor John Malkovich. He has a home in the Luberon in the south of France, and a few years ago decided to plant a 5 hectare vineyard with Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, two varieties beloved of Americans but not widely planted in the warm Vaucluse. Of the two, Cabernet Sauvignon has done somewhat better than Pinot Noir. Two of these wines blend the two varieties together, and the results aren’t as bad as you might expect, although these wines – sold in the UK by Jeroboams – are wildly overpriced compared with their regional peers. Here are my notes.

Les Quelles de la Coste Les 14 Quelles 2017 IGP Vaucluse, France
14% alcohol. An unlikely blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Pinot Noir (RRP £45, 800 bottles). 12 months in new French barrels. Sweetly fruited and quite supple with some lushness, a hint of green and appealing fresh cherry and berry fruit. Light and drinkable, it’s quite an easy wine with well integrated oak. Lush and easy, this hasn’t got the personality to carry the elevated price point, but it’s a nice supple red. 88/100

Les Quelles de la Coste Les 7 Quelles NV IGP Vaucluse, France
13% alcohol. 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon (RRP £14.95). Supple and sweetly fruited with a lushness to the palate, as well as some freshness. Has a sweet and sour quality with a nice mouthfeel. This is a ripe wine, but it’s not too jammy. Has a hint of development. Drink now. Slightly green and sweet at the same time. 87/100

Les Quelles de la Coste Pinot Noir 2014 IGP Vaucluse, France
15% alcohol. Spicy and a bit animal with juicy, lively sour cherry notes. This is green and over-ripe at the same time with some bitterness and a phenolic edge. Not very nice, alas. 78/100

Les Quelles de la Coste Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 IGP Vaucluse, France14% alcohol. This is ripe and nicely poised with sweet blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. It’s lush and supple with some ripeness allied to freshness. This is a very attractive fruit forward wine with a nice green hint adding a sense of brightness to the ripe fruit. 88/100