In discussion with someone about the various levels of Cahors wines, I maintain the standard cuvees are always going to have more typicity at an early stage. But the prestige wines are more concentrated and absolutely pure Malbec which is, perhaps, why they sometimes come across as atypical. Give them time!
The "Le Cedre" (and I would guess prestige cuvees from other estates, certainly Lamartine's "Expression" and Haut-Monplaisir's "Pur Plaisir") wines are typically more concentrated and oakier than their junior counterparts although, for example, the 04 is more classic than the 05. Even then, I decanted a bottle of the '04 at lunchtime (a few days ago) and by 6.30 it wasn't exactly ready (still very much enjoyed though) so don't rush into any of these prestige cuvees.
The oak question seems to be quite divisive. As far as I can see, the oak barrel is a traditional means of ageing wine before bottling/consumption but in the modern era when there are other alternatives for the elevage, there are certainly too many using oak as a flavour component which, I agree, should be avoided. However, like any really good wine, oak is used in Le Cedre, for example, to assist with the elevage and contribute to the textural profile. If aged sufficiently, there will be little or no oak influence on the flavour of the wine but you will notice the leap in quality between, for example, Cedre's "Prestige" (now renamed simply "Chateau du Cedre") and "Le Cedre". A bottle of Lamartine's "Expression" in 2002 or 2004 has no discernible oak on the nose, only when it hits your mouth is it at all apparent and then only in the texture.
So, whilst I agree that oak is too often over-used, it does have its place.