I talked to winemaker Fabrice Durou the other day about his wine: Château de Gaudou 2012 Le Sang de la Vigne Malbec. Why? Because this wine was inspired by the Winemaker Detective series. And because that wine came in at number 80 on Wine Enthusiast's top Cellar Selections for this year.
"So that would make you Benjamin Cooker?" I asked.
"More like Virgile," he said.
We know that the authors Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen came up with the idea for the Winemaker Detective series while sharing a meal with a bottle of Château de Gaudou 1996, a red wine from Cahors with smooth tannins and a balanced nose.
Then, when the book series, which in French is called Le Sang de la Vigne (or the Blood of the Vine), met with success in France and became a popular television series, it in turn inspired its own wine, the Château de Gaudou Le Sang de la Vigne Malbec.
Fabrice Durou knows the authors of the series well, and in fact serves as a reference in wine matters for the series. He says that it seemed only natural that they develop a wine made by the fictional detective Benjamin Cooker. "Le Sang de la Vigne is a modern wine, with a fresh, fruity style that is both powerful and well-rounded, accessible and with personality."
Wine Enthusiast describes the 2012 Le Sang de la Vigne Malbec as "Hugely rich...fermented in egg-shaped cuves that have given an impressively rounded character to a wine still so young. The tannins are opulent, letting the black fruits speak powerfully. It still is a wine to age."
That sounds like a perfect wine to embody this series, which grows on you, like a fine wine, getting better with each sip.