Tag Archives: Cahors

Argentina Malbec

Cahors Malbec and the South America Connection

How did Malbec go from its birthplace of Cahors to being the national red wine grape of Argentina? It started some 175 years ago.

Malbec arrived in Chile from France in 1840. It was brought to Argentina from Chile in 1850.

Its success is the combination of several factors starting with South America’s long tradition of winemaking, which dates to Mendoza’s founding in 1561. Prior to Malbec’s arrival, Chile and Argentina had been producing wine made from native grapes.

As Malbec was beginning to take root, it was helped along by a massive immigration from France, Spain and Italy in 1878. This brought better winemaking techniques and a culture of appreciating wine. Notable winemakers adopted Malbec early, and by 1890 Malbec had become an important grape in Mendoza.

More recently, the 1990s saw a revitalization and modernization of winemaking in Argentina and a growth of exports. Between 2000 and 2012 the number of hectares planted with Malbec vines doubled.

Today half of the exported bottled wine from Argentina is Malbec.

Whether it is Cahors Malbec or an Argentine Malbec in your glass, take a moment to enjoy the rich history in each sip.

A special thank you to Professor Pablo Lacoste from the University of Santiago in Chile for the facts and figures cited in this article.

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Cahors Malbec Rose

Cahors Malbec Rosé

With an appreciation for tradition, winemakers in Cahors also seek to modernize Malbec for a new generation of wine lovers. Today the new trend is to produce a rosé of Malbec.

Cahors Malbec roseThe past few years have seen a surge in the popularity of rosé wines in the United States, particularly rosé from France. Though it is still difficult to find Cahors rosé in US stores and restaurants, you’ll definitely want to look for it if you have the opportunity to travel to the region.

Malbec is an extremely versatile grape for rosé. The wine can span a variety of colors and styles – from salmon pink to bright magenta, light and fruity like the rosés of Provence to bursting with ripe red berries like a light bodied Gamay or Pinot Noir.

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Saint-Cirq Lapopie

Snapshots from Saint-Cirq Lapopie

Your visit to the Cahors region is not complete without a day in Saint-Cirq Lapopie.

The commune perched on a cliff overlooking the Lot River is classified as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France” (Les Plus Beaux Villages de France). In 2012 the French voted it their favorite village in the country.

Take time to stroll along the cobblestone streets and visit the boutiques. There are plenty of cafés and restaurants to enjoy a drink or bite to eat. Climb the steps near the church for magnificent views of the rooftops and river.

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Chateau de Cayx

Guide to Cahors Wineries

Here is your go-to guide on Cahors Malbec.

For a taste that will make you fall in love with Cahors Malbec try wines from these domaines and châteaux.

The wines from each estate are generally listed beginning with entry level (easy to drink, less oak and aging, lower price point) to top of the line (excellent quality, complex, cellar-worthy, higher price point). Vine age is the average age.

Click here to learn about why the location of the vineyards — on the terraces or plateau — is so important to Cahors Malbec.

Scroll down to the bottom for a map of the wineries.

Château du Cèdre

Owned by brothers Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe who took over the vineyard from their father in 1987, Château du Cèdre produces exceptional Malbec in Vire-sur-Lot. For that “aha! moment” – when you take a sip and understand what makes Cahors Malbec so special and delicious – try the 2011 Le Cedre. In 2003 the Verhaeghe brothers transitioned to organic farming and were awarded official certification in 2009.

Chateau du Cedre wines

Location and soil: Third terrace; clay and limestone soils.

Website: www.chateauducedre.com

Wines to try:
Cèdre Heritage 2011
100% Malbec from 30 year-old vines, 18 months on the lees in tanks.

Château du Cèdre 2011
90% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 5% Tanat from 30 year-old vines. 22 months in oak barrels: 1/3 new, 1/3 one year-old, 1/3 two years old.

Le Cèdre 2011
100% Malbec from 40 year-old vines. Hand harvested. 24 months in barrel, 80% new.

GC 2011
100% Malbec from 55 year-old vines. Hand harvested. Fermentation and 27 months aging in new oak barrels.

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Clos Triguedina

A Visit to Clos Triguedina

When you arrive for a visit at Clos Triguedina, one of the first things you will likely say is “I would like to taste something.” It is a sentiment that has been expressed there countless times over many centuries.

Cahors and Clos Triguedina are located along the Pilgrimage Route of Santiago de Compostela. In the Middle Ages, pilgrims would find a welcoming place for food and rest at the estate in Vire-sur-Lot. In the Occitan language they would say, “I am longing to dine” – “me trigo de dina.”

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In the Magazines: Men’s Book Atlanta

Check out articles from AG’s Robin Alix Austin in the Winter Issue of Men’s Book Atlanta, out now.

Men's Book Atlanta December 2014Holiday Spirits
Mixologist Miles Macquarrie of Kimball House in Decatur shares some of this season’s top spirits.
Page 110

One to Try: Cahors Malbec
This big and bold red wine from southwest France demands a spot on your dinner table.
Page 110

Luzech plateau Cahors

Cahors Crash Course Part 2: Terroir and Terraces

When getting to know Cahors Malbec, it helps to learn about the terroir.

Sure we can go into detail on the geology, terrain and soil depth or type, but today we’re boiling it down to an easy to understand concept – terraces.

These layers of alluvial deposits are what make for such a variety of wines in the Cahors region. Knowing about terraces is the key to understanding the different styles and aging potential of Cahors Malbec.

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Cahors map

Cahors Crash Course Part 1: History

To say that Cahors Malbec has been the wine of kings, popes and tsars is not an understatement. From the Middle Ages onward the “black wine of Cahors” was enjoyed by such notable figures as Henry II of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Francis I, Peter the Great of Russia and Pope John XXII (who was born in Cahors). Experts in the 1700s wrote about the high quality wines of the region, as did French agronomist Dr. Jules Guyot in an 1868 text, where he also described Malbec’s aging potential.

So why is Cahors Malbec not the go-to wine for celebrations, gourmet meals or tonight’s dinner?

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