May 2018 Imported Wine: Les Jamelles Malbec, Pays d’Oc/Languedoc, France
Fine Wine Source Wine
Catherine and Laurent Delaunay are the heart and soul of Les Jamelles. In the early 1990’s, these two winemakers, both from Burgundian families rooted in the world of wine for several generations, were won over by the diversity of the Languedoc’s terroirs and the grape varieties. Catherine likes to say “the terroirs are there for the grapes.” In the mid-1990’s, the Languedoc region was not known for producing high quality wines; however, it’s reorganization had gotten underway and the pair sensed that it was a land full of promise, with the freedom and ability to grow fifty or so different varietals. In regards to the personal hallmark Catherine and Laurent have made in the region, Catherine has this to say: “In a region where the wines were considered to be very powerful, we wanted to add a touch of Burgundy to our cuvees-to make them fresh, elegant, and complex. Over the years we have discovered many shared features between Burgundy and the Languedoc. It is said that Burgundy is a ‘mosaic of terroirs.’ I would say that the same is true in Languedoc, but to the power of 10!” To ensure its success, Les Jamelles has remained faithful to its original philosophy of listening to consumers (in over 45 countries) and offering them delectable, expressive and accessible varietal wines whose roundness, rich aromas and flavors evoke a certain art of living in the South of France.
Catherine created the “Cepage Rare” collection in 2010. It allows wine lovers to discover a selection of grape varieties that have particular history in the Languedoc: Whether they are old, forgotten, little known, or rarely grown in the region, they are part of the viticultural heritage of the South of France. Malbec is said to have originated in France’s Quercy Region and the vineyards of Cahors. It was then introduced into the Gironde and Touraine regions around 1810. It resulted from a cross between Magdeline Noire des Charentes and Prunelard. This early ripening grape varietal yields very fruity, aromatic, deeply coloured wines that are rich in tannins and well suited to ageing. Malbec is rare in the Languedoc region; however, Laurent has discovered two very different vineyards whose 30-year old vines produce low yields of high quality fruit. The Languedoc vineyard has a warm terrior strewn with galets (round stones). These grapes give depth and colour to the wine. In the western part of the Aude department the cool deep soils of La Malepere produce fruit with tangy red berry flavor that lends finesse and freshness. The grapes were hand harvested and vinified in stainless steel tanks under monitored temperatures. Traditional maceration lasts 15 days and 10% of the wine is aged in oak barrels for added complexity.
This elegant, ruby coloured wine tinged with red boasts a spicy nose with hints of liquorice and notes of red and black fruit. It is soft and well-structured on the palate with solid fruity flavours and fine tannins that give this wine its elegant length.
This Malbec is the ideal match for Mediterranean cuisine (ratatouille), pizza, couscous and tagines, as well as assorted deli meats, cheeses and grilled red meats. It is also delicious with chocolate. Serve at 16°C /61°F.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:
A power pack loaded with rich complex flavors. It has a great pop of flavor up front and finish with a long rich linger of fruit. Best served with a steak or any meat on the BBQ!