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Known as Auxerrois in Cahors, Cot in the Loire and Malbeck in Argentina, this grape has undergone a mini renaissance in the last decade, largely fuelled by its success in South America. It used to be a staple component of the Bordeaux Blend, but it never recovered fully from the 1956 frosts and its plantings there have fallen by 75% as growers have replaced it with more fashionable, and crucially, more durable grapes.
It is still grown successfully in South West France where its most famous wine is Cahors. This wine used to be black as coal and tough as leather but improvements in viticultural and vinification techniques have led to riper, softer, more approachable wines that are now amongst the best of the region.
In Argentina it is widely grown and produces deep coloured wines with generous black fruit characteristics, balanced acidity and smooth tannins. It is either bottled on its own or as part of a Bordeaux blend. In Chile it is the 3rd most widely planted grape after Pais and Cabernet Sauvignon and tends to produce firmer, more tannic wines than its Argentinian neighbours. In Chile it is often blended with Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Cahors is the most traditional and, in the eyes of some, most austere statement of Malbec....the original and, to many, the best, although its tannic power can be somewhat imposing, especially those who do not have a plate of game to hand. The solution of adding 10-15 % of Merlot to the blend was pioneered by Coutale and is now widely practiced. The result adds a fleshy plum-skin character to the earthy sub-plot, with ripe yet engaging tannins underlining both provenance and quality. Exceptional value.
Simon Field MW - Wine Buyer
Bottle 12 x 75cl35cs
Bottle 12 x 75cl386cs
Bottle 12 x 75cl29cs
Bottle 12 x 75cl10cs
Bottle 6 x 75cl1cs