Posted by: Andy Kelly
Ned gives this a 10 despite its hefty price tag. What will we think?
"Last year I gave 9 points to the 2015 vintage at £10.75. The price has risen alarmingly for the 2016 but I'm top scoring it anyway because this just has to be tried (wait for a 25% promo if necessary). The colour, very deep crimson, could almost be imagined black as in the old and largely imaginary tradition of "black" Cahors wine. The scent is gorgeous blackberry concentrate, creamy with vanilla oak contact, and the fruit plush, pruny-plumy-cassis-peppery, the lot, all in miraculous harmony in its hefty un-eco posh bottle; 13.5% alcohol. It says here there's 10% Merlot in the mix. Maybe that's the secret".
There’s a couple of firsts for me in tasting and reviewing this wine. For a start, it was the first Cahors Malbec from France that I’ve tasted and secondly, it was the first 10 from Ned that I’ve reviewed in the 2020 edition of his book.
The wine itself had been bought for me from Sainsbury’s by my dad who had lauded its complexity after his first bottle though he was less effusive in his praise after a second. It comes from their much venerated Taste the Difference range which has featured on our website before. I approached this wine with a touch of trepidation because I love Argentinian Malbec and the Cahors style is traditionally lighter bodied which really isn’t my thing.
However, first impressions were very good. I was immediately hit by the smell emanating from the bottle as I pulled the cork out. It was that “gorgeous blackberry concentrate” that Ned mentioned in his review and it also permeated from the cork too.
The blackberry notes also came through in the glass and were only amplified when I gave the wine a good swirl. Going well so far Ned!
The taste from the first glass was one of pronounced spicy notes with good hints of dark fruit too. The finish stayed with me for what seemed like an eternity and it was only then that I could get the slightest hint of vanilla and the oak contact that Ned mentions. This all blended very well together to make a very complex and a very tasty red wine.
The wine stayed consistently complex after decanting and the peppery spice only became more pronounced as the wine warmed up to room temperature. It was, perhaps, a little too cold on my first glass because the bottle had travelled around with me for much of the day.
So, here we’ve got a wine that looks great in the glass, is relatively bold, has a pronounced nose of dark fruits and plenty of peppery spice with a finish as long as the Hundred Years’ War. It’s got to be a 10 from me surely?
Not quite. But it’s damn close.
I’d quite like to see the price drop by a couple of quid for me to give it a 10 as I believe people who won’t break the £10 barrier aren’t going to shell out the extra £3, and, to be honest, neither would I. Putting it another way, you could buy two bottles of the Wine Atlas Ventoux from Asda for £6 and you’d be getting a similar tasting experience having spent £1 less with double the amount of wine.
So it gets a 9 from me. Everything about it screams quality and I particularly loved the pronounced nose and long, spicy finish. I will also definitely be exploring Cahors much further as I know there will be some absolute gems to find. The only downside for me is the cost though, and I hope Sainsbury’s realise they’re on to a winner here and either consider the price tag or include it in regular promotions.
You can purchase Château Les Bouysses Cahors 2016 from Sainsbury’s for the usual price of £13.