While catching up with a wine rep/friend of mine the other night at Buceo 95, a terrific wine and tapas bar on the Upper West Side, I was reacquainted with Le Clos D’Un Jour. That’s both the name of the winery, in Cahors, as well as the name of this particular cuvée. Stephane and Veronique Azemar make three cuvées on their seven hectare winery situated on the Lot River, where their total production is only 12,000 bottles, and their 40 year-old vines are farmed organically. Grass covering the entire land is weeded by Oussant sheep, who serve not only as good weeders, but also as wonderful natural fertilizers. Whatever the sheep don’t eat is removed manually, never by machine. The winery uses no pumps — only gravity — to move things along.
Le Clos D’Un Jour (the wine) is the Azemar’s flagship Cahors, and is a blend of 90% Malbec (a.k.a. Cot, or Auxerrois) and 10% Merlot. It’s fermented in steel tanks, and aged for 18 months in cement. As you’d expect, only natural yeasts are used and there’s no fining or filtration. The color is true to Cahors’ reputation for “inky black” wines, but this wine is elegant. The Malbec gives it the oomph, and the Merlot gives it the grace. Full-bodied, with surprisingly soft tannins, Le Clos is black currant heaven, yet lively and bright. For about $20, I say bring on the duck or steak!