Wednesday, April 01, 2009

No, This Is Not a Joke: Malbec from the Loire

Happy April's Fool Day. Today I've got a wine that seems like a joke, but isn't. It's a Malbec from the Loire Valley of all places.

When I think Malbec I think of sunny South America, but the grapes for this wine come from one of France's cooler viticultural areas. In France, they call Malbec Côt, and it's been grown in France for centuries. To find out more about Côt, check out these articles on AbleGrape.

The 2005 Mikael Bouges Les Côts Hauts was deep purple in color and had grapey aromas and flavors. Overall, I found it rustic and a bit thin. I was expecting something green and tannic, but instead all I tasted was blue and purple.

I got this wine from Garagiste for $11.83--and I must say that I felt I paid too much for this wine. If it had been around $8, I might have felt differently, but at this price it represented poor QPR.

Of course, I bought it for the curiosity value--Malbec from the Loire? If you are interested in tasting a Côt wine, there are plenty available in the market for between $8 and $30. If you take the plunge, let me know how it turns out. I'd love to know if this Côt was typical, or if I should give Côt another try.

And if you're looking for some more April Foolery, check out The Dregs Report, a tongue-in-cheek look at the world of wine.


Taster B said...

I'm sorry to hear your wine tasted purple. Better luck next time!

Jill said...

Hmmmm, this doesn't sound appealing at all. I may have to slip you a bottle of the Puzelat Cot. It is a very unusual wine but it doesn't taste like a color, it tastes like the Loire. Really interesting, definite celery, peper and vegetal aspects, some herbs as well, and of course a decent amount of fruit -- red raspberry. I'm not sure that it's typical either, given that it's the product of extreme natural winemaking, but it has much more in common with Cab Francs from Saumur than it does Malbecs from Argentina, for what it's worth.

Cabfrancophile said...

I had a 65%-35% blend of Cab Franc & Malbec from Touraine recently. I was not impressed, especially since it cost close to $20. It was very tart like grapefruit juice and there was nothing else going on to balance the acidity. I'll just stick to Chinon and Bourgueil in the future even though they 'only' produce Cab Franc.

Arnaud H said...

Côt (or Malbec) actually originated from the Loire Valley before being cultivated more to the south.

You should give instead a try to the true Malbec French region: Cahors, which is located east of Bordeaux, along the Lot river. There are plenty of Cahors wines for under $20.