A Happy Find – Clos du Tue-Boeuf’s La Guerrerie 2009

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I should start this post by explaining that my wine collection is not vast. As you would expect if you have even the slightest idea of who I am and what I do, the provenance of these wines is mainly French and Italian. Curiously, as a whole, it is weighted more towards red wines than to whites or sparkling. I have about 30 bottles laid out on a wine rack and the others are still in their boxes. Despite all my best attempts to catalogue the bottles, every so often, I find something unexpected.

Gallo’s 2006 Merlot is one of them. Thierry Puzelat’s 2009 La Guerrerie is another.


Clos du Tue-Boeuf (Touraine AOC, Loire) La Guerrerie 2009 66% Côt, 33% Gamay (12.5%

If you are in any way familiar with the natural wine scene, Thierry Puzelat should need no introduction.

However, you may be unfamiliar with the grape variety Côt; it is essentially another name for Malbec. In France, Malbec is most notably found in the Cahors region in the south-west, where it can go by the name “Auxerrois,” and in Bordeaux where it is minor variety, predominantly used for blending. It has also made a name for itself in Argentina where it seems perfectly at home at high-altitudes of Mendoza. 

Anyway, to get back to the point of this post, we need to look more closely at the Loire Valley.

Whilst Côt has a couple of more famous neighbours, it has its own, distinctly original form of expression.

Unlike Cabernet Franc, it does not have the black pepper, green capiscum and cassis aromatics that you find in Chinon and Bourgueil.

Unlike Grolleau, it’s a heavyweight wine, which is sturdy and sure of itself.

It’s obviously not Pinot Noir (that you find in Sancerre and a little further in Burgundy.)

It is instead spicy and warming. It has a heavily tinted, deep, mulberry colour and a very pleasing aromatic profile. 

Upon first opening, the initial impression is the unmistakable sign of its vinification in wooden barrels. However, for a 2009, it still smells remarkably youthful. There is no sign of oxidation.

Now almost 8 years old, this wine is at its peak. It harmoniously blends fruit (ripe red fruit – think raspberries, sloe berries and redcurrant jelly) with spice (hearty, cajun spice. Incidentally, it made a wonderful accompaniment to our BBQ-ed jerk chicken.) There’s still enough acidity to keep it lively and enough mellow tannins to be pleasing on the palate. A great find!


Tasted: 23rd August 2017

Price: unknown

Rating: ****


Clos de Tue-Boeuf website

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Casa Pardet’s Cabaret Sauvignon

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It’s funny how sometimes you can spend ages thinking to yourself ‘I should really get another post on the blog.’ You can spend an hour looking at the screen but nothing comes. Other times, you can’t help it – the words just spill out.

And so, with no further ado, here is tonight’s practically blind tasting of Casa Pardet’s Cabaret Sauvignon.

cabaretz

The liquid pours out of the bottle. It’s almost black.

It was the label, rather reminiscent of the Moulin Rouge heydey, that drew me in at first. Natural wine with a sense of humour, it seemed to say. In the glass, the wine has a deep red colour with a gorgeous blackcurrant hue. Also very appetising.

Before I go any further in this tasting note I should mention that this bottle was actually opened two weeks ago. It was opened, had a little poured off and then was re-corked. No more than 20% was missing. It then got put in a box and somewhat forgotten, until this evening.

On first sniff, it has curiously taken on a few funky Syrah characters. It reminds me of some of Jean Delobre’s wines (La Ferme des Sept Lunes) that I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. It’s a little lighter than that though. There’s a lot of fruit, some allspice, more fruit. It’s extracted but not overly so. It was also probably more aromatic when it was first opened, but at least it smells like wine.

Moving on to the taste, it is full and fruity. Plump, lush fruit, actually. Primary characters are slightly under-ripe damson plum skin and peppery spice. Pleasant. It’s a little short, but very drinkable.

The name would lead us to believe that this is a Cabernet Sauvignon. I know nothing about this wine (it was given to me very randomly) but I would suspect that there are possibly a couple of other varieties thrown into the mix. The thing is, the tannins are present but they’re surprisingly soft. The wine has a fuzzy edge, typical for a unfiltered, unfined wine with no sulfites.

Given that the bottle has been open for two weeks, it shows remarkable freshness.

I have to be honest and admit that it’s not a wine that I would take home to my parents (i.e. probably not adapted to those with a conventional palate) but it could definitely be a crowd-pleaser amongst a young hipster crowd who are already initiated into natural wine.

I also ought to hold my hands up and confess that I have absolutely no idea what vintage this is, nor of its ABV. Neither are written on the label. I have no idea, either, as to how much a bottle like this might cost. If I put my neck out, I’d say that I’d be happy to put around 15 euros on a bottle, which for me makes it “a weekend wine.”

Price: €€ (probably)

Rating: ****