Grapes at Domaine Leduc-Frouin

ripening grapes in the Loire

ripening grapes in the Loire




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Coteaux du Quercy VDQS

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Quercy is the ancient name of a region of South West France in the Lot and Lot-et-Garonne départements roughly centred on Cahors (46, Lot, Midi-Pyrenees). The Coteaux du Quercy wine appellation however lies to the south of Cahors down towards Montauban (47 Lot-et-Garonne, Midi-Pyrenees). It is lassified as a VDQS ( Appellation d’Origine Vin De Qualité Supérieure), which is a category between “Vin de Pays” and full AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controllée or AC) and has similar but less stringent restrictions of grape varietals, yield etc.

Some think of Coteaux du Quercy as a minor “Cahors”, the Malbec dominated rich red, but it is in fact something quite different and somewhat unusual for SW France in that the main grape is the Cabernet Franc (between 40% and 60% of the blend) – the other varieties being côt (malbec or auxerrois), gamay, merlot and tannat, none of which can exceed 20% of the blend.

The terroir is typically on the high limestone “causse” or moorland between the Lot Valley in the north and the Aveyron and Tarn Valleys in the south. Only red and rosé wines are produced, which tend to be quite complex but less tannic than Cahors. The dominance of Cabernet Franc can suggests a more fruity style than their neighbours. Production is almost entirely by small independent winemakers, and it is really only in recent years that the wines have been exported outside the immediate region. There is a co-operative (Vignerons de Quercy) – Premier Crew wines in Warminster stock the “Bessy de Boissy” red.

If you are travelling through the region it is worth a small detour to David & Sarah Meakin’s Domaine du Merchien at Belfort-du-Quercy (46 Lot, Midi-Pyrenees – see map) where this couple are making some superb wines (and beers!!) which are rapidly gaining a well-deserved reputation.They also have an interesting blog at http://merchienwineandbeer.blogspot.com/

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