The wine region of Cahors is located in SW France’s “Hidden Corner” in the heart of Gascony. An area steeped in history through Roman and Medieval times. It has some of France's earliest vines and it’s also Three Muskateers, Armagnac and duck country!
The small town of Cahors lies on the banks of the Lot river and it’s here that the red grapes, synonymous with it’s “Black Wines”, are grown.
Made from predominantly Malbec, Cahors is a robust wine to say the least. Quite unlike it’s fruitier and somewhat smoother Argentinian cousin - Malbec.
The appellation states that red wines from Cahors (only red can be made under the AOC) should be a minimum of 70% Malbec and 30% Merlot of Tannat. Obviously, the wine changes dramatically depending on the winemakers choice of additive as both Merlot and Tannat bring totally different attributes to the party.
Wines from Cahors are called as “Black Wines” due to their deep dark purple colour - a tribute to the Malbec grape’s thick blue skins.
Flavour profiles are, of course, black fruits with blueberries, violets, vanilla, licorice, coffee and spice which makes them perfect with produce of the region: Cassoulet, mushrooms, duck confit, blue cheese.
At one time Cahors wine was very popular and was THE wine to drink. Wines were sought after, much of it exported to the UK via Bordeaux.
Black wines far outshone the wines of Bordeaux (located to the north west) which were just starting to gather momentum. However, the power of Bordeaux and it’s politics was not to be under-estimated and in the 14th century the “Police des Vins” (yes, they actually had them) stopped “high country” wines being sold through Bordeaux until Bordelais wines sold first.