The Cellar: French Malbec + Gewürztraminer
Saturday, January 19, 2013
This week’s first wine is a Gewürztraminer from Germany. More specifically, this wine is from Ernst Loosen’s Villa Wolf Estate located in the Pfalz, a region situated between the Haardt mountains and the Rhine River in the southwestern part of the country. The Pfalz is located directly north of France’s Alsace region. As in Alsace, the mountains protect the vineyards in Pfalz from the cold Atlantic weather, making it one of the warmer and drier wine-producing regions in Germany. Because of the increased ripeness winemakers can achieve in this part of the country, the style of wine that is produced is usually drier, fuller in body, higher in alcohol and richer in flavor than the wines from, for example, Mosel, whose wines are lighter, lower in alcohol and often have a little sweetness to balance the pronounced acidity.
This week’s second wine is from a region located in southwestern France called Cahors. With its 10,000 acres, the Cahors is considered small by most standards, roughly one quarter the size of Napa.
Malbecs from Cahors and Mendoza are very different, especially when the Cahors is blended with the rustic and tannic Tannat. When this is the case Cahors can be extremely rough on the palate needing years in the bottle to mellow out. But when blended with Merlot, like this week’s wine is, it is a lot softer and much more approachable earlier on. Still a lot earthier and meatier than your everyday Argentinean Malbec, the 2007 Clos de la Coutale is definitely something different, but absolutely worth seeking out. Make sure you decant this wine, especially if you get a newer vintage.
Cheers and enjoy!
Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at email@example.com with any wine-related question or sign up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.
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