Fast Facts:
Bottled 2005
Origin: France, Cahors (Chateau du Gaudou) AOC
Bottle size: 750
13% Alc/Vol.

Just outside the Bordeaux region in France sits a small growing region known as the Vallée du Lot where the grapes are grown on very gravel-rich hillsides. In this valley is the AOC region of Cahors; a unique and pleasant Chateau known to world as Chateau du Gaudou (Shaw-t-o dew go-do).

On this estate winery they produce a rarity in French wines, it's not the grapes themselves that are necessarily unique, but the labeling practices are. You see, in more French regions wines are simply named for their geographical area. Laws on grape growing are very strict in France and quite often labeling wine as "Bordeaux" is enough to indicate what varietals are present. In Cahors, wines are sold with different blends of red grapes and they often have a break-down of the wine on the label. 

This particular wine is made from 80% malbec, 15% merlot, and 5% tannat. This mix of grapes makes for a very interesting flavour profile. The malbec, being the dominant grape pushes through on the nose. It's distinct aroma of red-peppers fresh from the garden and earthy tones make this wine a great hearty-meal companion. The merlot adds a smoky subtlety to the freshness of the malbec. Merlot is known for it's body and in this wine it doesn't disappoint, adding a structural element that takes the wine away from a nearly bitter taste and mellowing it out on the tongue. The tannat, in my opinion is a filler grape. Much in the way Cabernet Franc is usually treated, the tannat grape is almost always undersold. It's debatable whether or not the tannat really adds much to he character of this wine at this time, but it is certain that it will help it keep it's appeal over time.

Some might call it cheating, using the tannat grape as a preservative. The grape's high tannins makes it a very cellar-friendly addition to this wine. In my opinion this wine was intended for aging; while the label suggests that it "can be enjoyed young" it also hints to it's ability to hide away for years.

Personally I would say this wine is not ready, not ripe. Given another 4-5 years in good conditions it has the potential to be great, but until then it's probably best to put down the corkscrew.

Another unusual feature of this wine's label is the suggested serving temperature of 16 to 18 deg. C. This is just another indication that this isn't a beginner's wine. This is for the red-wine drinking, smoking-jacket wearing, wine-snob type...and at that it will likely not disappoint. I would suggest serving this wine with a very hearty stew or roast, something peppery and heavy. The body is reminiscent of a well-aged port and the finish is...what's the polite term?...persistent.

The Verdict:
This is not a patio wine, keep this one hidden away for a good hearty meal in the dead of winter when you need something to put a little hair on your chest! Best to keep this one in hiding until at least 2015.

Cheers to a wine to age with, lets hope you both fair well,


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