L’Envoi du Prince comes from one of the oldest estates in Cahors, Domaine du Prince, owned by the Jouves family. The family have been wine makers since the 1550s and have been at Domaine du Prince for over 300 years; their land and vineyards has passed from father to son since ancient times. Domaine du Prince is perched on the Quercy plateau, near the village of Cournou, overlooking the township of Saint Vincent Rive d’Olt in the River Lot Valley. This is considered to be the finest growing areas for Malbec, the grape responsible for the black wine of Cahors.
According to local legend, a family ancestor once delivered wine to the King of France, and perhaps to the Russian Tsar (Cahors wine was a favourite at the Russian court of Peter the Great). Because he met the King in Paris, he was nicknamed ‘The Prince’ by the villagers (‘lou prince’ in the local dialect). Hence the name of the estate. This nickname is still used today by the old farming families of Cournou and ‘Prince Jouves’ is even recorded in the old tax documents from the era.
Today, the latest generation of the family, brothers Didier and Bruno, run the estate. Thanks to their heritage and passion for their craft they know the land, and even individual vines, by heart. However they have moved forward, with a focus on expressing the superb characteristics of their terroir and are working on a project with Leonardo Erazo Lynch, Technical Director of Malbec producer Altos Las Hormigas – the premier wine making appellation in Argentina, to showcase the expression of Malbec on various soils in Cahors.
The inky black wines of Cahors are more structured than their Argentinean Malbec counterparts. They are known for their dark brooding potency whereas Argentinean Malbecs tend to be more fruit forward. Being well structured, L’Envoi du Prince is delicious with food; pairing well with duck breast and pheasant, mushroom, tomato and pesto based dishes, lean red meats such as beef and venison and sharp cheeses such as cheddar or parmesan.
PunchWine of The Week – 9th June 2016
This week Punchline’s Cotswold wine expert and founder of The Cheltenham Wine Festival Dr John Parr recommends:
2011 Domaine du Prince – L`Envoi du Prince, Malbec, Cahors, France
This wine is medium ruby in colour. A vibrant nose displays blackberry aromas with hints of dark chocolate and savoury spice. The concentrated palate is full bodied with flavours of ripe black fruits, leather and truffle add an earthy complexity to the long finish. Well structured with fresh acidity and firm but ripe tannins.
A natural pairing with the regional cuisine of the area such as stews, red meat and game. Drink now but has the concentration and structure to keep a further 3-5 years. Enjoy!
Learn more about French Malbec on Nick’s blog: Discover French Malbec, the Black Wine of Cahors