2014 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Prestige" Cahors SKU #1337217


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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Is Cahors France’s greatest undiscovered wine? In the southwestern French winegrowing region of Cahors, the majestic Malbec varietal finds its ancestral home, often producing wines of great intensity and character. The indigenous Malbec was cultivated here during Gallo-Roman times long before Bordeaux became established, and it made Cahors' reputation. Throughout the Middle Ages the wines of the Haut-Pays outranked Bordeaux in prestige, and the "black wines" of Cahors in particular were often used to beef up the color and backbone of Bordeaux's garnet-colored wines. Today, Cahors is in the midst of a renaissance, making it a fantastic time to experience these largely undiscovered and overlooked majestic wines. Cathy and Daniel Fournié of Chateau Haut-Monplaisir farm 44.5 acres in the Lot Valley on what is known as the third terrace of the valley floor, the highest and the best by virtue of its well-drained soils. All of Haut-Monplaisir's wines are composed of 100% Malbec staying true to the distinctive nature of the grape variety. The "Prestige" is aged in a mix of concrete tanks and some new and used oak barrels.

Staff Reviews

  • Heather Vander Wall
    By: Heather Vander Wall
    K&L Staff Member
    Don't think of this Malbec in quite the same way that you're accustomed to thinking of the grape. This is French Malbec at its best--with restraint and structure, capable of aging, and an excellent complement to steak. While it still has the enchanting black fruit and spice characteristics that we love in this varietal, it is neither jammy nor sweet-fruited, but well-balanced, with an excellent structure. If you're a Bordeaux fan, or love Bordeaux-style wines, this is absolutely one you should try.
  • John Majeski
    By: John Majeski
    K&L Staff Member
    When most people think of purchasing a bottle of Malbec they invariably seek out the lush, full-bodied, fruitful red wines of Argentina. Not to argue, but it’s easy to forget if they ever remembered, that Malbec’s true home has always been in Southwest France, in the misbegotten wines of Cahors, where it flourished for centuries until the phylloxera bug and devastating frosts almost annihilated it. We’re forever thankful that it survived, as Haut-Monplaisir has defined in almost textbook fashion what this grape will give you in temperament, pleasure and finesse when grown on the soils of its native land— luscious, aromatic blackcurrant fruit augmented by licorice, vanilla and spice, with a silky suppleness and weight that poured itself with aplomb into the glass. Stunning Malbec, and I guess if the bottle could speak it might say ‘don’t cry for me Argentina’!
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    Back to back successes with the Haut Monplaisir has solidified it as one of our favorite Malbecs from any region. Both the 2011 and 2012 were quick sell throughs with their level of quality, concentration and power. The '14 offers up something even more special in my opinion. Sweet black plum. It was such an evident marker, I would have used it in a wine class on flavor profiles. It's not the only thing going for this wine though with its beautiful blackcurrant, gorgeous weight, full-bodied texture and loads of spice notes. It is a hallmark Malbec showing the best of what can come from its home region of Cahors. Easily the sexiest of the last few vintages, you would be hard pressed to keep you hands of this beauty while serving it with hearty winter fare and dare I say even some grilled Argentine steak?! Let's show those southern hemisphere Malbecs how it's done old-school French style.
  • Thomas Smith
    By: Thomas Smith
    K&L Staff Member
    I love this producer so much. I have a thing for savory wines, and the Haut Monplaisir has that in spades. Meaty, gamey, almost a touch bloody aromatics with dark, dark, black fruits and earthiness on the palate. It's has some serious weight and concentration, but still displays a silky texture with rustic tannins and exceptional balance. My all-time favorite cahors.


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