MAS DEL PÉRIÉ IN CAHORS, SOUTH-WEST FRANCE
Fabien Jouves manages this familial winery in Cahors using biodynamic practices. He warmly welcomed my friends and I in his cellar for a tasting during our improvised visit to the region. It's not always an easy task for a young winemaker to overturn long-established Cahors traditions. But Fabien Jouves has a long-term vision, the curiosity and boldness to try out new things, and a deep devotion to its vines.
This is what led him to the biodynamic philosophy, a winegrowing and winemaking management mode based on organic practices, that takes into account all environmental interactions. In the vineyard, going biodynamic in Cahors can be challenging, as the region experiences maritime influences from the Atlantic, leading to a high level of rains and therefore higher disease pressure (and chemical spraying is not allowed in biodynamic farming). In the cellar, Fabien Jouves advocates natural winemaking and experiments different maturation techniques (in concrete, wood) to reach the best expression of each wine, in the least intrusive way possible.
In Cahors, malbec is king. This red grape variety is native to the region (also found under the names of Cot, Auxerrois, Pressac), and gives wines with a deep ruby colour, high alcohol level, medium to high level of acidity and tannin and intense aromas of black plum, violet, pepper. The best examples are matured in oak and have vanilla and cloves aromas.
There are broadly three areas in Cahors: fertile site next to the River lot, well-drained and shallow soils on slopes and a plateau at 300m with poorer soils.
Through a meticulous plot selection, Fabien Jouves creates a broad range of wines, each with their own personality. You'll distinguish two types. First, the singular and funny bottles in an easy-drinking and fruit-forward style. And then, the more complex ones, with a more minimalist design reflecting the purity of the wines.
I really enjoyed "Les Acacias", 100% malbec, deep with black fruits, spices, subtle wood notes, pleasant tannins and very good structure.