Regarded as one of the oldest wines in Europe, the history of Cahors wine goes back to Gallo-Roman times when Julius Caesar’s legions planted the Quercy causses with vines. This fame continued to grow during the Middle Ages, from the Court of England to the Tsars of Russia. French King François I was a passionate devotee of Cahors wine, like Pope Jean XXII who, in Avignon, made this beverage the noblest of communion wines. In the 20th Century, French President Georges Pompidou was to help the appellation, eager for further acclaim, receive its A.O.C. classification. Let us not forget that in the 19th Century, before the outbreak of phylloxera, the Cahors vineyards boasted 40,000 hectares (nearly 99,000 acres) of vines, situated on an excellent terroir of gravels and limestone.
Here, the Auxerrois grape has reigned supreme for 2,000 years, having found both the geological and climatic conditions to bring out the very best of its merits. Whilst its scientific name is Cot, the Auxerrois, as it is called locally, is nonetheless an exceptional grape variety, which is also part of the same family as the Tannat.
After fermentation it produces a very dark wine with lush tannins and intense aromas. Blackberry, liquorice and blackcurrant contribute to this symphony of flavours that are revealed time and time again with each vintage.
The Terroir, climate, and grape variety are nature’s gifts that, in combination with the work of the wine growers, are the major assets of Cahors, which over time and bordershas achieved its place in the pantheon of the finest French wines.
Page 1 Cahors Wine
Terroir and Vines
The Terraces of the Valley. Two-thirds of the vineyard are located on the Lot’s alluvial terraces.The valley of the Lot is divided up into three terraces comprising alluvial deposits from the Massif Central. The higher the altitude, the better the soil drainage.
The lower terraces close to the river produce supple and fruity wines. The medium ones produce fleshier wines. It is the upper ones, as well as the soil made up of limestone scree from the plateau, that produce the richest Cahors, suitable for ageing.
Also of note are the terroirs of the upper quaternary era, alluvial soil deposits, covering the rocks and resisting erosion: these are much more rare, but they also produce very well-renowned wines. These terraces are made up of limestone sub-soils, rich with ancient and more recent alluvial deposits from the river and its tributaries, made up of quartz stones, smooth pebbles and limestone gravel produced by erosion.
On the heights, a limestone plateau is found much higher up, at an altitude of 300 metres. It is less fertile than the terraces and less concerned by the influence of the river. The contrast in temperature between the day-time and the night-time results in a later ripening harvest, with less flesh but greater finesse. This limestone plateau is made up of loose clay stones, more or less mixed with marl on the chalky terrain and sometimes covered with siderolithic formations (rich ferruginous concretions).
Page 2 Terroir and Vines
From the grape to the bottle
The vendange is an alliance of knoledge transmitted from generation to generation allied to modern techniques.
Considerable progress has been made in the selection of grapes, the harvest by machine and the vinification.
Two or three months before the harvest we make a first selection of grapes calledthe “vendange verte” to keep only the best bunches and to improve their quality.
Then, the harvest by machine which guarantees the integrity of the grapes, without loss of juice and with elimination of debris.
The grand cru, to which we accord special attention is gathered by hand with secateurs, to select more perfect bunches of grapes, this are transported in traditional baskets on the back of the pickers. Once the juice is fermented, we rack off by gravity several times during the year.This is done by gravity to avoid spoiling the wine.
The Reserve Caillau is plunging by hand in open tanks, reproducing the traditional action which consists of pushing the marc down in the fermentation juice. Wines are matured in tuns and different types of barrels and for a Grand Cru in new barrels.
Page 3 From the grape to the bottle
2011: 4 Stars
2010 : 3 Stars
2009: 5 Stars
2008 : 2 Stars
2007: 3 Stars
2006 : 2 Stars
2005: 5 Stars
2004 : 1 Stars
2003: 2 Stars
2002 : 3 Stars
2001 : 3 Stars
2000 : 3 Stars
1999: 5 Stars
1998 : 3 Stars
1997 : 1 Stars
1996 : 2 Stars
1995: 5 Stars
1994 : 4 Stars
1993: 2 Stars
1992 : 4 Stars
1991: 3 Stars
1990 : 3 Stars
1 Star = Below Average Vintage, 2 Stars = Average Vintage, 3 Stars = Unusually Good Vintage, 4 Stars = Good Vintage, 5 Stars = Exceptionnal Vintage