Grapes at Domaine Leduc-Frouin

ripening grapes in the Loire

ripening grapes in the Loire




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Cahors and Malbec

Deep down in Southwest France Cahors (46 Lot, Midi-Pyrenees) is the home to the Malbec grape, now frequently seen in the wines of Argentina, Chile, South Africa, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Of course, the French Wine labelling laws did not help, prohibiting the inclusion of the grape variety in most appellation controllee (AOC) wine labels.  And, to be honest, Cahors used to be something of an acquired taste – rich and tannic and needing to be kept for 5+ years before it was ready to drink. Yet ideal with the rich, fatty foods of the south west of France – goose and duck, foie gras and rich stews.

But Cahors has moved on – the wines are still rich and full-bodied, but more fruit-driven and accessible- dare one say “more like the competition from the New World”!?! And of course, they are now AOP – Appellation Comtollee Protegee in line with the new EU rules. But they have always been one of my favourite wines from one of my favourite areas of France. Although I appreciate the more open and consumer-led styles of wines.

And to celebrate their wines Cahors holds an annual festival – Cahors Malbec Days (16-22 June 2014)

 cahors malbec days logoCahors, The Original Malbec

Savvy wine lovers know Cahors to be the historic and spiritual home of Malbec. And today, they know the region to be the grape’s epicenter of quality. Here, in the unique terroir of southwest France, Cahors wines achieve their ultimate

Pont Valentre

Pont Valentre

character and aging potential. Announcing themselves with aromatic complexity, full-bodied palates and firm and fruity tannins, the best Malbecs of Cahors enchant with flavors of violet, black currant, cherry and licorice, enhanced with maturity by notes of truffle and eucalyptus and hints of oak. Indeed, wine drinkers around the world have rediscovered “The Black Wine,” whose vineyards are meticulously tended by an energetic new generation of winemakers who are matching modern enology to centuries-old traditions.

The events include tastings, a barbecue, a concert with tasting, masterclasses featuring Malbecs from overseas, and a Malbec Party and Banquet – sounds a lot of fun – for more details see www.french-malbec.com/facebk50