The shape of the bottle is significant. You see a bottle with straight shoulders, like bottles in Bordeaux, and immediately you think you already know a bit about how the wine will taste. In Cahors, like in any other wine region in the Southwest of France, the Bordeaux bottle is used for red wines. But what if this is not compatible with your own philosophy as a winemaker?
For Cahors producer Fabien Jouves it was an easy choice. He changed to a bottle with sloping shoulders, the Burgundy style. This bottle better shows his strategy, he thinks, as he believes that terroir is of the utmost importance.
A new generation of winegrowers always add something to a wine region. In the case of Fabien Jouves, who is just under 30, it is about sélection parcellaire. This means that he treats the different parcels in his vineyard differently, both at harvest and for vinification. In this way all parcels get the treatment that suits them best. Thus, he says, he gets more character from the Malbec, the grape of Cahors. “But you have to grow organically and the harvest should be done gently by hand in small baskets. You must also make a careful selection of grapes at harvest and manage your canopy during the summer.”
Fabien’s estate is called Mas del Perié and is located on the limestone plateau just south of the town of Cahors. Fabien took over the estate, and the 12 hectares planted by his parents, in 2009. The parents sold the grapes to negoce but Fabien wanted to make his own wine. And not only wine, he wanted to make quality wine with personality. There is nothing mainstream about Fabien’s wines. He ferments in concrete tanks, sometimes in barrels or even amphora.
He calls himself the artisan vigneron. And why not? Winemaking is perhaps not an art but it can certainly be a craft. Fabien’s wines are different and personal, never boring.
Wines we have tasted:
Mas del Perié Les Escures 2013
Aromas of ripe plum and other ripe fruits and a certain lightness and elegance in taste. Good freshness. Fermentation and ageing in concrete tank, long skin contact, for 30 days. Ageing on fine lees for ten months and bottled without fining or filtration (10.50 euro).
Mas del Perié La Roque 2012
The grapes grow in Kimmeridge soil. There is a freshness and a distinct minerality in the wine. No sulphur is added during vinification and a maximum of 20 mg at bottling. The wine is fermented with natural yeast. Nice fruit and good complexity and fine intensity of aromas, a certain elegance, a bit tannic in the finish (14.50 euros).
Mas del Perié Les Acacias 2013, Cahors
The whole grape bunches, with stems and all, ferment and age for a year in demi muid, which is 600 litre oak barrels. Dense body and concentrated flavours, quite smooth on the palate and a fine minerality and surprisingly fresh acidity. Quite elegant despite the rich body (25 euro).
Mas del Perié Les Acacias 2011, Cahors
Delicious, with a vibrant, lively acidity. Concentrated flavours yet light and elegant in style (25 euro).
Mas del Perié Amphore 2013, Cahors
Fine, elegant fruit, good acidity, a certain appealing lightness, a bit dry in the finish but it does not really bother me as it goes well with food (30 euro).
Mas del Perié La Pièce 2011, Cahors
An interesting wine made in a very small quantity, around 1000 bottles per year. Aromatic wine with intense flavours, ripe fruit, spices, some floral aromas, fresh acidity, very dense structure. The wine has spent a long time in oak barrels (23 months) but fortunately I don’t feel any particularly oaky flavours. But the oak has probably helped to build the structure. A wine with its own character and personality (49 euro).
More on the domaine: www.masdelperie.com
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