2018 Les 3 Lodges by Ludovic Laur, Cahors “Le Clos” Malbec, Southwest, France.
Ludovic Laur’s Les 3 Lodges 100% Malbec Le Clos from Cahors is a pure and dark purple/garnet wine that has a fine tannic structure, nice natural acidity and a medium/full palate of juicy blue fruits, it is clean, fresh and well made stuff and a bargain for the price. I was gifted this bottle to try, as the vineyard in Cahors is looking to import a line of wines to the United States and wanted some feedback, and my first impression is that, this is a perfectly enjoyable Malbec with layers of blueberry, cherry and vine picked berries along with a hint of mineral, violets, cedar, anise and brambly spices, making it a highly drinkable version that would be a super value as a bistro wine, not overly complex or too serious, but you couldn’t ask too much more in this price class. This wine might struggle to set itself apart on the shelves of a big wine store, though I would not hesitate choosing it for parties, picnics and a or having a glass with a burger or simple foods. I really enjoyed this single Lieu-Dit Le Clos Malbec with a big plate of rustic and Calabrian pepper spiced pasta, as it easily coped with the intensity of flavors and the heat of the dish, which was impressive for dry and tannic wine. The Laur’s are driven to honor their land and grow their grapes with sustainable farming practices to produce wines that show terroir character, ripe supple textures and energy, while in the cellar they employ a more modern approach to craft their Malbecs to deliver transparency and a clean or polished style to be appealing to a wider audience without losing a sense of place.

The Laur family has been in Cahors and is a historic wine growing clan in the region which dates back to 1881 and currently Patrick, Ludovic and Cédric Laur manage their 46 hectares of vines on the Floressas hills with a primary mission to farm Malbec, with Ludovic doing his own set of wines separately, like this one. The family’s bottlings are more traditionally labeled and include three Cahors Rouge, using just the Malbec grape, as well as doing a Malbec Rosé and Viognier, plus they do acouple of sparkling wines as well, while Ludovic’s line includes this Le Clos Malbec, a very simple Chardonnay and his own Malbec Rosé, which is crisply dry and refreshing. Cahors, which is seen as a remote and rustic country wine region in the Southwest of France, acually has highly entertaining and serious wine history, the area dates back to Celtic times when it was known as Divona, but really became famous in Roman times, in fact in was one of the most import wine producing prizes of their empire, suppling their armies with dark powerful black wines. Little known too, is that it was the shipping of these Cahors wines, that made Bordeaux a thriving port and have have been instrumental in giving the locals there the idea of commercial wine production, cutting out the long distance hauling of barrels overland to Bordeaux. Before Argentina’s rise and use of Malbec, Cahors was synonyms with this grape and the region has seen a remarkable rise in quality in recent times and the region’s fame is re-gaining its luster and pride. While not seriously imported, the Les 3 Lodges by Ludovic Laur is widely available throughout Europe and has a good reputation for quality, which this 2018 Malbec confidently displays, it also gives me a thirst for more Cahors.
($10 Est.) 88 Points, grapelive

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