In an effort to shed some light on how I study for WSET Diploma Course’s D3 exam, Le Club des Vins is running a series of posts covering wine regions. Today’s topic: Cahors

📍 Location

Cahors is located, 160 kilometer east of Bordeaux.

In a nutshell

  • France
  • Usually warmer and drier than Bordeaux
  • Limestone plateau Causses
  • Malbec is king

☁️ Climate

It’s usually warmer and drier than Bordeaux, making it easier to grow grapes (organically). There’s some cooling influence from the Atlantic Ocean, but not as much as in Bordeaux.⠀⠀

🌋 Soils

The vineyards are spread along the Lot River. Soils vary depending on the location. There’s rich, alluvial soil next to the river, producing fruity, quite simple wines. The best wines come from the limestone plateau known as Causses, they are more tannic and have a higher fruit concentration. In between the river and the plateau, you’ll find the gravelly slopes, good price/quality, meant to drunk much younger than the ones from the Causses.


🍇 Grapes & styles

Malbec is the main variety, sometimes called cot or auxerrois here as well. A wine labelled as AOC Cahors must be made of at least 70% malbec, the remaining 30% made up from either merlot or tannat (quite a difference :D). There are some white wines produced but they are labelled under Vin de Pays du Lot. 😋 TASTE
They are one of the darkest wines in the world. Deeply purple coloured. It’s not uncommon to reach a level of 15% alcohol. Medium+/high aroma intensity ranging from violets to black plums, med/med+ acidity and usually high levels of tannins. ⠀⠀

💡 Something you didn’t know (did you?)

The wines of Cahors were once very famous (‘vin noirs’) but then came Bordeaux – they imposed taxes on exports of Cahors wine, phylloxera followed soon after plus a devastating frost in ’56. The production lowered to a minimum. Nowadays, Cahors is trying to recover and some use the succes of the Argentinean malbec to make that happen. One of my favorite producers is Château Combel-la-Serre.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Your turn now 

I always put a new region on instagram first. If you have any additions or comments on a region, please do share. You can drop a comment on instagram or on the website – see below. Your help is much appreciated!


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