Who makes it?
Chateau du Cedre is a family wine estate in Cahors, France. Their first vineyards were planted in 1958, with the first wine made by the family being the 1973 vintage. The family at the time were also lavender farmers and distilled their own lavender oil. By 1992, the family stopped using chemical weedkillers and by 2012 were certified as organic producers. They are particularly passionate about their wines and leaving them to shine with as little intervention as possible.
I have to say that this wine has a rather stylishly label. However, it is very easily confused with the Chateau du Cedre Extra Libre 18 month matured version. Make sure you look very carefully on the front of the bottle for either a 12 or an 18. The 18 month matured version is a straight Malbec made from the grapes of the older vineyards.
How do they make it?
The Extra Libre is a blend of red grapes. Around 90% is that Cahors speciality, Malbec, with about 5% each of Merlot and Tannat. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeast. After the fermentation is complete, it spends 12 months in foudre, or large format oak. The aim is to soften the tannins and allow the wine to meld rather than add big oak flavours.
Furthermore, in keeping with their non-intervention policy, the team use no additional sulphites at any time in this process. This wine is a ‘sans sulfur’ wine.
What does it taste like?
This fuller bodied red is smooth in the mouth. There are plenty of plum and red berry fruit sitting there amongst the garni bouquet of dried herbs in the aromas. In the mouth though, the wine becomes more cedary in nature and more of the red berries come through. The tannins are certainly there, but they are shapely and the entire mouthful lasts well into the next sip. I would certainly like to see this one in another year or so to see how it develops further.
What to drink it with?
Enjoy the Extra Libre with a roast, or with some venison or other game. Undoubtedly, it will also work well with a stew and also some Mediterranean vegetables.
A big bold wine such as this red is a great match for mature cheddar, comte or other hard cheeses. Or similarly, a truffle cheddar.
Quickie review « A smoother introduction to Cahors wines from one of the well known family wineries. »
Country of Origin: Cahors AOC, France
Tasting Date: October 2023
Price: UK £24 | €16
Drink: now – 2+ years
Needs food: no
Visit chateauducedre for more.