Tasting: Plum, cherry, blackberry, black tea, stony minerality, medium body, silky tannins. Pairing: Brautwurst, aged gouda, pot roast.
Grape: 95% Malbec (Côt), 5% Tannat
Malbec is the primary grape of Cahors, but has more recently seen a surge in familiarity due to it's success in Argentina. Cahors regulations mandate that wines there be made up of at least 70% Malbec to bear the region's name. Prior to the 1950s, Malbec was was popular in Bordeaux and is still permitted by all major Bordeaux appellations. In Cahors, the Malbec grape is referred to as Auxerrois or Côt Noir; this is sometimes confused with Auxerrois blanc, which is an entirely different variety. The Malbec grape is a thick-skinned grape and needs more sun and heat than either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to mature.
Tannat is an astringent, thick skinned dark grape that is highly tannic. Due to these characteristics it is typically used as a blending grape, however in Uruguay there is significant experimentation around softening the grape's highly tannic personality and single varietal wines have been made here.
Region: Cahors, France
Cahors is located in Southwest France and produces only red wines. It is almost exclusively dependent on the Malbec grape. Cahors is influenced by the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and the wines tend to be very concentrated, so much so that they historically were referenced as the "black wines of Cahors". Cahors regulations mandate that wines there be made up of at least 70% Malbec, supplemented by Tannat and/or Merlot. The vines are planted on top of the limestone plateau or on the sand and gravel terraces between the plateau and the river.
Farming: Practicing organic
Vinification: The grapes are handpicked and de-stemmed. They undergo a 5 to 6 week process of maceration. Wild yeasts are used during fermentation. The wine rests in barrel before it is bottled unfiltered.
About the Winemaker: Gilles Bley is part of a multi-general winemaking family spanning back at least two centuries. His parents still live in the main farm building, which was built in 1779. When Gilles grandfather was in charge of farm operations it was a fully working farm raising sheep and truffle trees. He follows the same production methods of generations before him and works the land together with his partner Pauline and son Baptise.