K-Libre 2013 : Clay Jars. Chenin Blanc. Clear, pale lemon with honey tones immediately on the nose. Palette: Clean, dry citrus, apple and pear. Good finish, medium body with medium well balanced acidity. Pair with white meats and maybe grilled seafood. Excellent, fresh and perfect chilled. Very good quality, 14 euros ex Cave.
K-Nom 2012: 85% Malbec/15% Merlot. Clear, deep ruby. Fruity, clean nose with red currants and cherries. Palette: Red fruits and medium acidity, medium balanced tannins and medium finish. Good, drinkable wine. 7 euros ex Cave.
K-Pot 2012: No Sulphites. 100% Malbec. Clear deep purple. Fruity, young clean nose. Palette: Pronounced red fruits, direct sharp tannins, well balanced with good acidity, dry and short finish. Very good wine easy to drink anytime, great with tapas or charcutery. 8 euros ex Cave.
K-Or 2012. 100% Malbec. Clear inky dark ruby. Red and black currants on the clean nose. Palette: Fragrant, elegant black currants. Medium tannins and medium body, with low acidity and medium finish. Drink on own or with grilled meats. 9 euros ex Cave.
K-Lys 2007: 100% Malbec 12m oak. Clear dark ruby with tawny edges apparent. Good clean nose of pronounced red currants and liquorice with toast. Palette: Red fruit forward with elegant liquorice, truffle and tobacco med+ finish. Well balanced tannins and complex intensity make this a Good Wine, great with duck and red meats. 12 euros ex Cave.
K 2011: 100% Malbec 24m oak. Clear dark inky purple, black! Nose of clean dark fruits, pronounced black currants and toast. Palette: Black currants, dark cherries and dark chocolate, perfectly balanced tannins melted into truffle perfection. Complex, powerful, intense and Outstanding! Pair with Scottish Fillet, Venison, Duck Breast. Award winning wine 19 euros ex Cave.
K2 2012: 100% Malbec, aged in Clay Jars. Deepest inky purple, clear. Concentrated black currant with spices and pure dark berries nose. Palette: Darkest pure berries, dark chocolate hints with truffle teasing the taste buds. Long finish with excellent melted tannins expressing the clay, iron oxide terroir to perfection. Intense, complex, yet very elegant – this wine is perfect to drink now, or lay down. Quite simply a perfectly iconic Black Wine. Outstanding award winning wine, pair with anything you like! 39 euros ex cave.
Prices all correct for 2014.
It is always wonderful to visit Clos Troteligotte to taste their wines and I enjoy taking people there on Tours as well! As I sell their wines here in the Lot, and I am about to start importing into the UK, I spend quite a bit of time here. So it was with great expectations that I visited for this latest Blog of their quite frankly Outstanding wines and Iconinc K2 Black Wine.
Cross the River Lot to the South of Cahors, and follow the road out to D653 and just to the right as you pass the twisties (love this road!) is a sign for Clos Troteligotte – Follow it!! That’s my advice – you will miss out if you pass by, I promise you. Wind your way up this little track to the new Tasting Centre that Emmanuel Rybinski has built himself, and stop to taste some of the most exquisite wines on the Plateau in Cahors.
Bordering the edge of the AOC Cahors (or ACC, AppellationCahors Controlle) and the Quercy Blanc, is 12 hectares of red and white vines. The red (black) is of course Malbec, and there is a small amount of Merlot, which is blended into some of their first category wines. Their white grapes are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and (one my favourites) Viognier. They also have the Chenin grapes for their K-Libre.
I am always met by Emmanuel, who is 2nd Generation Vintners here at Troteligotte, the vineyard having been planted by his father Christian in 1987, starting with just 1 hectare and planting each year until they reached the current 12 hectares of superb vines. In 2003 Emmanuel joined his father and since then, together, they have increased the quality further, realising the exquisite terroir on their land. This is a truly family run vineyard with the 2 generations working side by side, and who knows, with 3 children perhaps one day we will see a third generation working here next to Emmanuel.
The 10 hectare black Malbec and Merlot vines benefit from the clay, limestone and siderolithique terroir, with its fantastic iron oxide soil. The minerals here on this particular part of the Cahors Plateau benefit the wines from this vineyard, and Manu works very much with this terroir in a Bio Dynamic way to ensure the vines, and wine all have great expression. In 2010 they applied for certification of Bio Dynamic certification, and this they gained in 2014. 2010 also saw the planting of the Chenin grape variety, and this added to the Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and one of my personal favourite, the Viognier, totally 2 hectares of white grapes.
The Visit and Tasting:
We start this visit with their current White wines (bear in mind please, that before phylloxera, Cahors was as much white as it was red wine, something which I was informed of on this visit.) It seems natural to start with their lovely K-Libre 1040 2013, a Chenin that is aged in Clay Jars (the same type that they use for their iconic K2, of which I will come to later).
There is a simple pale lemon colour in the glass, and the first thing that hits my senses is the lovely honeyed tones. This is very much Quercy Blanc, the minerals are apparent in each taste, dry and lasting in the mouth, with well balance acidity. Citrus hints of green apple and pear ensure this is a stunningly elegant wine, yet able to hold its own against some stronger flavours when paired with food. I would take Manus suggestion here of fish, maybe steam BBQ-d and eaten with sharp green salad outdoors in the warm weather. Basically this wine is aged in the same type of Clay Jars as the red K2, for the reason of the terroir, the clay soil expression continued through the vinification and ageing process. The clay jars are porous in a way that allows for gentle oxygenation, and makes this a very interesting wine, despite the weather problems we had here in 2013.
CSbV: Unfortunately, due to the terrible hail storms in May and June 2013, their white grapes were not able to mature and produce their award winning CSbV (Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Viognier) white for this year, the grapes are doing well this year so we are very hopeful for next years crops – we are at the mercy of the weather here!
We moved onto the K-Nom 2012 which is a blend of 85% Malbec and another AOC permitted grape 15% Merlot. This has a young deep purple colour with a very fruity nose, red fruits predominantly. Less mature grapes than those used for K-Or are harvested for this very drinkable, fruity wine. This has a short maceration of 15 – 20 days which keeps the fruity flavour and a higher acidity, keeping the lovely sharpness in the wine, with lower tannins. This has therefore slightly less structure, that their other wines, although it certainly makes for an interesting young wine. To be honest, you could drink this on its own, or pair with something very simple like pizza, or salad, white meat dish, or aromatic curry.
The K-Pot is one of my UK cousins favourites! I can completely understand why, superb deep purple colour, very fruity with pronounced red fruits on the nose and at first taste too, the burst of red cherries and sharp red currant make this high acid, young wine actually very easy to drink, an extremely interesting wine! There are no sulphites in this wine, which means it will not last, there is ‘no protection’as the label apparently tells us!! I trust his comments at this point and remain very British and proper….. A maceration period of 20 days ensures the acidity and tannin in this wine. A young, clean, very drinkable wine that honestly doesn’t need to be drunk with food, however, I would suggest something easy and simple like Tapas or Charcutery, it is wine to be drunk with friends, out on the terrace, or chilling out around the table. Great wine, once again!
Tasting, next , the K-Or 2012, also 100% Malbec, this is a beautifully inky black wine, with a nose of pronounced blackcurrant. The grapes in this wine are harvested later than the K-Pot, and you can tell in the tasting of more mature, elegant, lower tannin wine. The tannins, however, give a fuller body, yet a purity and simple finesse that still allows for the red currant burst in the mouth, with a hint of liquorice commonly associated with the Cahors Malbec grape. There is clearly more structure to this wine than those previously tasted, and this has more presence than the 2011, which was also an excellent year for Cahors Malbec. Impressive, with a good expression of the terroir without being over-powering. You cannot go wrong with this wine, and I sell it almost nightly throughout the year in Rocamadour! If I had to state a pairing, I think that I would suggest a meat dish, something with a little more substance than just a simple green salad, but don’t take away from the elegance of the wine, confit de canard, Rocamadour Goats Cheese (yes really!) all pair well here.
The first Oak aged wine here is the K-Lys, we tasted the 2007 which I sell in Rocamadour, and I must admit, I like this personally. A good age now at 7 years old this has now mellowed to become a full bodied excellent wine. 100% Malbec and aged for just 12 months in oak barrels, this is a deep red/brown wine with its tawny edges hinting at its age. Pronounced redcurrants on the nose, with a meer hint of toast and tobacco, suggests a very good wine. This has a deep truffle, earthiness that hints at chocolate and has deep plummy tones. I love this with a rich beef stew and stronger duck dish.
Well, anyone who knows me or has been following my writing and thoughts over the last year or so, will know that the ‘K‘ is one of my favourites! The 2011 has not disappointed in anyway, shape or form!! My goodness, I didn’t think this wine could get better or more expressive than the excellent 2009, how wrong I was….. With a deep purple colour that promises so much, aged in oak for 24 months, and with cool pre-fermantation maceration to increase the fruitiness, this delivers what the nose promises! Everytime! The dark chocolatey tones compliment the hints of truffle and black currant. Intense and complex, this is a truly exceptional wine, that expresses everything Manu wants to say, is a true representation of todays Black Wine, and yet doesn’t get lost or overpowerd by the oak it rests in. I would strongly recommend this wine at any time of the year, I still drink this in the height of the French summer when I want the presence of Black and a complexity that doesn’t come from the simpler roses. Award winning (Decanter Silver 2013) and highly acclaimed wine, this has the true Black Wine tannins that suggest this is a wine that will lay down for many years as well, and I am personally excited to have this one in my cellar!
I fully admit to getting very excited at tasting the latest K2 2012. This truly is an iconic wine that outstrips most of the competition in Cahors, this is pure expression of Black Wine and Cahors Malbec Plateau wine, grown on the clay soils right at the edge of AOC Cahors, and aged in clay jars, the beauty and elegance of each grape is a measure of how exceptional Emmanual Rybinski is as an artisan, wine maker and creator. The black colour of this wine, invites you, challenges you and draws you in the moment your glass nears you…..The concentrated, pure black currant and spices burst in your mouth with the first taste, and this melts further with each intake of oxygen to prolong the sensations, the complexities and the intensity of the wine. The finish is so long that it allows for the dark chocolate, liquorice to develop, through slight pepper spiciness and into smooth elegant perfection…. This is not a wine that you can take lightly, the intensely pure seduction of this wine makes it an icon in its own time, and the Rybinski family should be rightly proud, although Manus quiet modesty is still amazing given what he has in his cellar!
The 8 lines of vines on the best parcel of land they own belong to the K2 wines, and this they age in clay jars for 12 months. At harvest, only the best grapes are used for the K2, they are hand harvested and checked, so only perfect grapes are used. I am told that 2013 was a very good year for these grapes, which is a huge relief given the devastation caused by the hail last year here in Cahors! Why clay jars? I hear you ask, and a good question, certainly, one that I posed to Manu…. The answer? Came in 3 fold:
1. Maturation, the micro-oxygenation aids the wine. 2. Clay (argile) soil, the character of the terroir continues to be expressed throughout each stage, and allows for freshness, ‘Freshness of the Humid Clay’ I am told, and as the vines are on the clay and limestone soil, this is a continued partnership of earth and grape. 3. Small egg-shaped tanks allow for small movement in the jar, this is a more personal technique and allows for more feeling for the wine, keeping that perfection throughout. This all attributes to the Outstanding quality of this wine and quite simply, you need to taste it, enjoy it and allow youself to be captured by what must surely be the most iconic Black Wine in Cahors!
Emmanuel Rybinski is an artist, a creator of wine, and Clos Trotelitgotte benefits from his passion and talent. It is quite clear that his heart and soul is right here, with his family, in this vineyard.
I highly recommend a visit to taste their award winning wines, and buy as many cases as you can carry with you! http://www.clostroteligotte.com