Valérie Courrèges - Ocrement-Dit 2019

We drink from Cahors in the southwest of France a bottle of Ocrement-Dit 2019 of Valérie Courrèges.

The most beautiful thing about wine is that you never finish discovering. There is something new around every corner. This starts every year with the new vintage, goes over new winemakers to growing areas which are completely new to me. And for me, the Cahors region is just such a growing area, and I can count the Malbec I’ve drunk so far with one hand. If at all. And what do you do if you have no idea? Either listen to recommendations of people whose taste you trust, or, if you don’t feel like doing such a research or the already opened shopping cart asks for more to reduce the shipping costs, buy what looks exciting. Which is what we did. The region is located in southwestern France on the river Lot in the overarching region of Sud-Ouest. About 4500 hectares are planted mainly to Malbec, which here stands on Jurassic limestone and gravel soils on several terraces above the river. Valérie Courrèges had, among others, stations in Bordeaux, Chile and California before she now launches wines under her own name with the 2019 vintage. For this, she and her husband were able to buy a few hectares of vineyards with vines averaging about 40 years old. The vines are farmed organically and the Ocrement-Dit is fermented spontaneously in concrete and aged in clay and concrete vets. It is bottled without fining and filtering with minimal sulfur added.

The wine is enormously dense on the nose from the start. There is fruit, there is dirt, there is earthy beet and leather. A lot happens when you smell it. In the mouth, the tannin first grabs the tongue in a slightly furry way. There too the wine is full and dense. At the back, however, there is a nice acidity that gives the wine a lot of freshness at the same time. It is warm in the southwest in France and the 14.5% alcohol is no lightweight. Still, it doesn’t let that show for a second. There are blackberry leaves, some scrub and a fair amount of boisterousness.

With air, the wine becomes fruitier and a bit softer, especially on the palate. There is more plum on the nose and a kind of funny combination of fried things (no idea where this association comes from), vanilla bean, rubber, licorice and wood. The wine already has decent power. Still, it draws so much lightness from the acidity that it works extremely well. For lack of comparison to other Malbec or even wines from Cahors, I have to learn by drinking for the context first to give a classification. But what I can definitely say is that I quite like this wine.

The evolution continues overnight towards more fruit and a more velvety grip. The tannin has become noticeably smoother once again and the mix of fruit, depth, leather and light green scrub is now woven together quite harmoniously. And the alcohol continues to be so well hidden that you can feel it before you taste it. A great wine that can certainly play up again big for the barbecue. And that for just about 15 euros. And clearly you notice that the wine is still super young and a little time in the cellar certainly does not hurt. But I like the gruff and the resistance that he makes. Discovering new things is always a treat.

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