The 2018 Château Armandière Ancestral Cahors is a polished, refined version of Malbec in a varietal and style that Americans have come to love. The 2018 Ancestral Cahors Malbec delivers the size, boldness and intensity of an Argentine Malbec but with the polish, refinement, and sophistication for which the French are justifiably revered. The wine’s aroma promises a powerful experience as draughts of dark fruits, leather, violets, and subtle hints of cacao greet the nose. In the mouth, it delivers what the nose promises – a satisfying balance of power and grace, with deep and abundant berry and black currant flavors, floral tones, and a backbone that is firm but not stiff. With fine-grained tannins, this wine’s mouthfeel is refined and sophisticated yet satisfyingly dense. The 2018 Château Armandière Ancestral Cahors is traditional authentic Malbec from the varietal’s place of origin. Although delicious now in the bloom of youth, the 2018 Château Armandière Ancestral Cahors still has plenty of room to grow and mature. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording it at least 15-20 minutes of aeration before enjoying it at cool room temperature (58°-62° F).
Château Armandière’s 2018 Ancestral Cahors is a wine to drink with hearty country cooking or as a means to ward off the chill of night. Cassoulet, sausage and bean dishes, game, and thick, heady meat and vegetable stews provide traditional fare for the Malbecs of Cahors. Marinated steaks, lamb burgers, and all kinds of fajitas will also provide tasty companions to Château Armandière’s 2018 Ancestral Cahors. Gorgonzola and pear pizzas, smoked meats, and thick slices of cow or sheep’s milk cheeses with plenty of crusty French bread make for good company, too. Penne pasta served with a heady marinara sauce, roasted eggplant, and grated Parmesan makes for a tasty interlude as well. The 2018 Château Armandière Ancestral Cahors is no wimp, so don’t be afraid to bring on the spice and even some heat with this wine. It will stay the course. Bon Appétit!
Bernard Bouyssou is the son, grandson, and great-grandson of winemakers and the present guardian of Château Armandière, a historic Cahors property and the home to some of France’s finest Malbec wines. Cahors, long known for its “black wine” because of Malbec’s propensity to yield deeply colored, highly extracted wine, has long been considered the spiritual home of Malbec.
The Bouyssou family owns 22 hectares (54 acres) of vines spread out on all four of Cahors’s geologically distinct terraces. Bernard fashions a variety of Cahors wines, all of which highlight the many facets and virtues of Malbec. Château Armandière’s flagship offering and most traditional Cahors wine is Ancestral. It is made from 100% Malbec grown on the upper terraces of Cahors, high above the river Lot. The vines for Château Armandière’s Ancestral Cahors average nearly 50 years of age.
Malbec is an important red grape variety traditionally associated with the wines of southwest France. It is also one of the original red wine grapes of Bordeaux where it is often referred to as Cot or Pressac. While Malbec is no longer as prominent in Bordeaux as it once was, it still finds its way into many of the region’s red wines and it remains one of the six grapes permitted in red Bordeaux along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Merlot and Petit Verdot. However, south of Bordeaux in the region of Cahors, Malbec still reigns supreme. It is the chief grape used in what historically has been called the "black wine” of Cahors.
Today, Argentina appears as the face of Malbec to most contemporary American wine drinkers. It is Argentina’s most important grape variety, both in terms of quality and quantity. The best Argentine Malbecs are age-worthy wines of great distinction, thanks to their French connection. Nevertheless, the traditional “black wine” of Cahors remains a reference point for Malbec. The finest Cahors are both polished and intense. They are made exclusively from Malbec grapes grown on the terraces above the river Lot, and they are capable of ageing to perfection for up to a decade or more.
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