Loire Valley: Origin of Unique Malbec Wine



The Loire Valley is located between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes-sur-Loire. Cot is the local name for Malbec, a grape that makes excellent red wines and is also used for blending earthy red wines. France is the birthplace of Malbec, and the southwest region of Cahors is referred to as the Cradle of Malbec. The presence of this grape in the Loire Valley is small (334 hectares) when compared with the approximately 6,000 hectares planted throughout France. Michel Pouget brought the grape from France to Argentina in the 1800s, marking the beginning of a rebirth of the variety and forever linking Malbec with Argentina.

2019 Pierre Olivier Bonhomme Vin de France KO in Cot We Trust. (Cot – local name for Malbec grapes)

Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme started in the wine industry as a grape picker, harvesting the fruit in 2004 at Clos du Tue Boeuf, the estate of Thierry Puzelat, known for its natural wines. He continued to work for Puzelat while getting his degree at the Lycee Viticole d’Amboise (2008). In 2009 he joined Puzelat to assist in the development of the negociant business and created Puzelat Bonhomme. Four years later, Bonhomme was managing the business and, having acquired seven hectares of his own in Monthou sur Bievre, Cellettes and Valaire he began to produce his own wines.

The grapes come from a single parcel with 45-year-old vines on clay/limestone soils spending. Vinification: two-weeks whole cluster maceration in small vats, followed by fermentation and aging for 18 months in 500L demi-muids with no added SO2. Grapes are hand harvested and yields are controlled.

The wine is opaque dark red to the eye, delivering unique aromas of blackberry and plum, violet, earth, roasted meat, citrus peel and mint. The palate is happy with fresh, bright, and cool acidity backed by black fruit, plums, light berries, menthol and then delivers a long finish. Decant hours in advance and serve chilled. Pair with Blue Cheese burger, marinated flank steak, Thai Barbeque Chicken.

© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.

Read Part 1 here: Learning about the wines of the Loire Valley on a NYC Sunday

Read Part 2 here: French Wines: The Worst Production Since 1970

Read Part 3 here: Wines – Chenin Blanc Warning: From Yummy to Yucky

Read Part 4 here: Chinon Rose: Why Does it Remain a Mystery?

Read Part 5 here: French Consulate in NY Presents Now: Wines Val de Loire

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