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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Tour de Belfort: The Wines - 2009 and 2010 Red

A while ago, I met Muriel Lismonde who told me the story behind her family winery Tour de Belfort in the Regional Park of Causses de Quercy in the Lot Valley, near Cahors and also gave me some of her wines to review.

They are currently all made as blends - the reds being a mixture of Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah - since, as Muriel explained, being a new and family-run winery, they simply do yet have the resources to vinify each variety separately.

If for the moment, blended wines are the only practical option for them, it is one of the few concessions to pragmatism that they seem to have made - everything else is completely organic, both in the vineyard and the winery - and, according to Isabelle Legeron, they are just a short step away from being fully natural.

Tour de Belfort 2009, VdP Lot (£10)

This wine, only the second vintage, has won a stack of awards - Gold at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris 2010, Prix des Vinalies from Oenologues de France 2010 in Bordeaux and IWC Commendation in 2011.

Bright purple in the glass, there is smokey plum and prune fruit on the nose with dark berries.

There is more ripe, dark berry and black cherry fruit on the palate with a pleasant touch of Malbec spice and leatheriness. The acidity is bright, fresh and juicy; the tannins are ripe, rounded and soft.

Good depth of flavour, length on the palate and balanced finish.

Tour de Belfort 2010 VdP Lot (£10.50)

This wine, from a year of perfect conditions according to Muriel, has more spice and leathery liquorice on the nose, as well as more prominent elderberry fruit.

The palate is again soft and full, with ripe tannins, juicy acidity, dark fruit and leathery, liquorice spice.

Both wines feels technically very well-made indeed, very balanced with no rough edges; there is pure fruit expression and just enough ripe, southern warmness to be very drinkable.

They also both have a certain something else - a clean, vibrant feel, that comes from the organic production and attention to detail.

In a sign of increasing ambition and confidence, in the near future there will be a varietal Malbec, aged in oak and the supermarket-style label has had a much-needed makeover into something more classy and appropriate.

Provided for review; the 2009 is £10 whilst the 2010 is £10.50 - both from http://www.tour-de-belfort.com/.

There is also an opportunity to sample the wines and meet Muriel at any of the current Three Wine Men events around the country.

Links

Tour de Belfort - http://www.tour-de-belfort.com/
Three Wine Men - http://threewinemen.co.uk/

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