Purple is the new black

The beginning of this week saw the arrival of our latest shipment of Château Lagrézette’s Purple, the original Malbec. Travelling all the way to Johannesburg from the home of Malbec itself, this delivery was part of an emergency LCL (Less than Container Load, a shipping term for when a container isn’t fully packed and is shared with other shipments – Ed.). This emergency drop was needed thanks to the runaway popularity of the wine, something no-one predicted. A total of 600 bottles later, a ‘Purple crisis’ was declared and instructions given for another 600 bottles to be put on the next available ship to South Africa.

Purple comes from the tiny French AOC of Cahors, located in south-west France. Many consider Cahors as the true home of Malbec, as the grape has a long history in this region, dating back all the way to the time of the Roman Empire. Château Lagézette, for example, refers to the enormous castle situated on the property, which dates back to 1503.

Alain Dominique Perrin, the ex-CEO of Cartier and Richemont board member, found Malbec growing across the property, when he bought the château a couple of years ago. A grape not known as a single varietal in South Africa, it is usually a component in blends. Thanks to the high levels of tannin, it gives a lot of structure but can be a bit overpowering on its own. Cahors AOC regulations require that Malbec make up at least 70 percent of any wine designated as wine originating from Cahors.

Purple is available for purchase from any of our restaurants and retailers, which can be found under the link at the top of this page.