Written by Marc Vanhellemont, translation S. Nickel
In the French region of Cahors, the Cot, a grape variety commonly known as Malbec, shows a particularly powerful and elegant expression. Amongst the great winegrowers of this region, Pascal Verhaeghe from the Château du Cèdre might be considered as one of the most talented. Like no one else, he distils elegance, power, nifty tannins and individual character from the Aquitania limestone soils of his vineyards. Even more since the estate has become “organic”…
Château du Cèdre 2007 Cahors
Dark ruby colour with slight purple hints. Nose: A fruity adventure without frills; cherry marmalade with cinnamon and red currant jelly slightly coloured by black- and blueberries. Mouth: Tightly woven tannins slip like silk over the tongue, caressing the taste buds just enough to be thrilled. A nectar, discretely flowing through the palate, whispering about its bouquet and the mouth filling roundness to come.
A wine made of 90% of Malbec and 10% of Tannat et Merlot. Entirely destemmed, the grapes are macerating for some 30 days and malolactic fermentation is done in oak. The wine ripens for 20 months in barrels, about one third of which are new.
Food paring: A wine with a lot of character, but less austere than one might expect. Haemoglobin and lipids seem to be the best partners to escort this wine: Goose or duck, stewed or roasted, with wine, oranges or mushrooms. It will polish the last headstrong tannins and emphasize the fruity character. Furthermore, some spicy, grilled sausages with tomato and beans will give a tasteful reply to the Malbec.
Some white for refreshment: Cèdre Blanc 2008 Vin de Pays du Lot
Pale, light green yellow. Nose: Apricots, white peaches and freshly toasted bread with pistachio paste and violet fragrance. An aromatic, palatable wine, only made from Viognier grapes, fermented in 500 Liter oak barrels, half of them new. Nine months of ripening on fine lees.
Food paring: Excellent for aperitif, with freshwater fishes, white meat or certain cheeses like Comté or Cantal.
Château du Cèdre – of Flemish origin
Léon Verhaeghe from Morsleede in Flanders, left his native country in the early 20th century to settle in south-western France. His son Charles started a farm in 1958 planting some vines on the property, and adding one hectare of vineyards every year. Today Pascal manages the 27 hectares of the estate together with his brother Jean-Marc.
“We do organic farming. We’ve started in the early nineties by banning all herbicides from the vineyards and managed to get rid of all chemical spraying agents by 2002. This really improved the quality of our grapes and encouraged us to ask for organic certification in 2009.” (Pascal Verhaeghe)