Grapes at Domaine Leduc-Frouin

ripening grapes in the Loire

ripening grapes in the Loire




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Exciting new wines in Cahors

Prince Probus from Clos Triguedina, Cahors wine
The Cahors region was a little isolated and very traditional when I first started to get to know it in the 1970s. It produced a somewhat rustic style of Malbec which I like, but the wine was little known or appreciated outside the region. Since then much has changed, with some superb, smooth and rich cuvées being produced regularly and often at keen prices from most produces. The emergence of Argentinean Malbec has led to a redisccovery of Cahors’ Cot or Auxerrois grape – the same but with a local name.
But with typical Gallic arrogance and reverence for tradition, there was great reluctance to promote these wines – you would probably have been banished to the furthest corner of France had you dared to refer to the grapes as Malbec!

But now every chateau has its top (expensive) cuvée and is happy to be recognised as the birthplace of Malbec! But the change goes further than that. Take one chateau as a good example:-
Clos Triguedina has always been one of the most respected Cahors AC wine chateaux and is well worth a visit. Situated at Vire-sur-Lot (46 Lot, Midi-Pyrenees) to the west of Cahors, the range of wines produced is extraordinary for the region. The tradtional Malbec (Cot, Auxerrois) reds include some good everyday drinking wines, as well as some of the best in the appellation – such as the Prince Probus (Probus was the emperor who allowed to France to replant its vines in the Third Century). Made from 100% Malbec from vines over 50 years old, this is a deep rich concentrated wine which needs a few years maturation in bottle on top of its 18 months in new oak barrels.

However, producing one of the top Cahors wines is not enough for this creative winegrower who has also developed a wide range of wines:
The exceptional: New Black Wine ®, a re-creation of the Black Wine of Cahors which used to be drunk by the King of England in the Thirteenth Century. The authentic process of vinification is to cook grapes or must before fermentation. This is really something quite different and should be tried.

Furthermore there are the innovative Vins de Lune (Moon wines) – including a stunning rosé made from Malbec (Rosé du Clos) and gently pressed to extract colour and fruit, but omitting harsh tannins. Le Malbec du Clos ®, is a lighter drinking style of Malbec (a Vin de Pays du Comté Tolosan) which can even be drunk chilled in the summer – and the Moelleux du Clos ®
which is a dessert Chenin Blanc white wine, made on the back of Mr Baldes’ early years in Barsac!
Previously serious wine makers would only make Cahors AC red wines – anything else would be consigned to local “plonk” consumption. To find a respected Cahors wine maker taking rosé, sweet white and vin de pays wines seriously shows how much things have changed – and for the better.

The proprietor, Jean Luc Baldes is a leading figure in the Cahors Wine Country:

Jean Luc Baldes, now the 7th generation of the family, has in keeping with his ancestors wine growing traditions, been able to place his diversified products at the top level.
His wines are supplied to famous restaurants and institutions such as the French Senate, the Elysée Palace and the Parliament.

Clos Triguedina was one of the 3 chateaux families featured in Michael Sanders’ Families of the Vine: Seasons Among the Winemakers of Southwest France which offers real insights into the realities of running a family vineyard in Cahors.

For more info on the Chateau and its wines see www.jlbaldes.com

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