Certified Organic (2012)
Variety: 100% Malbec
Country, Region: France, South West France
100% Malbec from 50-67 year-old vines located on the prized 3ème terrasses and cropped at yields of only about 15hl/ha (just 3 bunches per vine). 100% de-stemmed and fermented for 40 days in open-top, 500 litre demi-muids, with daily punch-downs for the first few days. Malolactic conversion occurs in these same barrels, followed by 30 months maturation on fine lees. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, with minimal sulphur.
'It’s a sleek panther of a red, mouthwatering, silky, suave and polished yet with a warm country soul. Initially it invites you in with aromas and flavors of sweet spices – primarily cinnamon and mace – and light balsamic notes as well as the accents of oak in the vanilla range. It’s surprisingly fresh for a red this rich, with appetizing bitter undertones and bass notes of eau de vie de quetsch. As the wine aerates, flavors of prune, black olive and black cherry emerge.' Jacqueline Freidrich on the 2000 vintage, October 2007.
'When we first started working with lees a decade or more ago we had typically 50mm or more of lees and we would get quite a bit of reduction. Today with healthier fruit from organics, we start with less than 30mm of lees, but after 18-24 months we have only 1mm of lees remaining and no reduction at all. Amazingly, the lees have been assimilated back into the wine.' Pascal Verhaeghe, November 2017.
Château du Cèdre is widely regarded as the leading estate in Cahors. Brothers Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe, both qualified oenologists, can trace its history back to their grandfather Léon who left his native Flanders to settle in south-west France in the early 1900s. In due course Léon’s son Charles and his wife Marie-Thérèse started a mixed farm in 1958 and began planting one hectare of vines in three different plots every year.
Today, Château du Cèdre comprises 27ha of vineyards planted at 4000-5500 vines per hectare on some of the most prized terroirs in Cahors, most notably the famous troisième terrasses. In keeping with the long history of Cahors, 90% of the vineyard is planted to Malbec (known locally as both Cot and Auxerrois), with 5% Merlot (now known to be a half-sibling of Malbec) and 5% Tannat. There is also 1ha of Viognier and a little of the Bordeaux whites, Sémillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.
After a disastrous hail storm in 1995, the brothers decided to re-evaluate their mode of operation in the vineyard, with a goal of bringing to an end the long term use of synthetic chemicals that had plagued the entire world of wine for 50 years (and had directly contributed to the untimely death of the brothers’ father Charles). By 2002 they had eliminated all chemicals from the estate and by 2012 Château du Cèdre was certified organic.