The "Black Wines" of Cahors

01 Sep 2021

A wine that would be famous around the world, if it was not for the fact it is situated up river from Bordeaux. As the wines became more and more fashionable, helped by being served at the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henri Plantagenet, the future king of England, the Bordelaise became increasingly jealous of the warmer regions ability to make popular full bodied wines. In 1373 they imposed high taxes and restrictions on all wine coming down river from Cahors, forcing the vintners to sell their wine to the Bordelaise themselves, with the wine being blended into the wines of Medoc to add colour and richness. From a peak of 9.5 million cases being exported to England in 1310 to none by 1500, the region seems destined to live in its considerably richer neighbour’s shadow.

In the 1880's, Cahors was hit particularly hard by the great French wine blight which destroyed large areas of vineyard leading to mass re-planting. This was further compounded in 1956, when a particularly harsh frost necessitated almost every vineyard to start entirely from scratch. This tragedy does, however, come with a silver lining as it was at this point that research was done into finding the best plots in the region on which to plant the perfect grape varieties. Now the wines of Cahors are making their presence known on the world stage, and quickly gaining a devoted following. The wines get their unique character from careful plantings of the Malbec grape which accounts for 90% of the vineyard area. The result is brilliantly full-bodied, heavily concentrated wines for which the region is now famous for.


Wish List

Château la Coustarelle Malbec, Cahors, 2018

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