Malbec has been grown at Château Lagrézette since the 15th century. The vineyards of Cahors, among the oldest in France, were praised and coveted throughout Europe. But in the 19th century, a phylloxera epidemic arrived from America and ravaged vineyards throughout France.
Grafting traditional Malbec vines with American rootstock (rupestris) as a way to counter the disease, proved unsuccessful in Cahors – even though this technique restored other great wine regions in France. Ultimately, experimentation with French-American hybrids in Cahors kept the Malbec varietal from disappearing altogether.
When Alain Dominique Perrin took over Domaine de Lagrézette in 1980, Malbec was finally returning. With the help and advice of consulting enologist Michel Rolland, hybrid roots were pulled out and original Malbec was replanted.
A very demanding vine
To deliver all of its powerful and aromatic characteristics, Malbec requires sensitive cultivation. It does not prosper in high humidity, thus the vines must be well ventilated. Rows are separated and leaves are removed by hand. Similarly, because Malbec grapes have a very delicate skin, picking is done by hand and often late in the season (around October 10).
The master of great wines
The renowned French enologist and winemaker Michel Rolland, is considered by many to be the preeminent modern winemaker. He advises many of the greatest wine estates throughout France and the world, with his wines consistently receiving critical acclaim.
Since 1989, Michel Rolland has worked closely with Alain Dominique Perrin to guide work in the vineyards and cellar – creating wines that deliver expressive and powerful character - with texture, elegance and precision.