After sampling the young and fruity wine, I could see that they could have their place with dishes like pizza or maybe chilled in a refrigerator and served outdoors on a hot summer day. I found several favorites in the feisty, powerful, intense, and complex category, especially the older wines in the walk-around tasting that followed. The most complex of these wines could hold their own against the Chateauneuf-du-Papes of the world at a five-star restaurant. The challenge is tasting enough Cahors so that you can become familiar with the producers. Happily, magazines and newsletters offer tasting notes to help you mentally “try before you buy.”
As you may imagine, one of the reasons for this tutored and walk-around tasting is to bring Cahors to the attention of the world. The region wants to increase exports during this five year period, perhaps more of a challenge today than ever before as so many wine regions around the world have the same self-described mandate. One key element in the region’s favor is that a new generation of Cahors winemakers have come of age, and unlike their predecessors, have attended enology school and are keen on maintaining a high standard of quality. They are lowering the average yield in the field and are refining the winemaking traditions of the region while conserving Malbec’s fresheness and terroir typicity.
Even before attending this lecture, I’ve always liked this wine and found it to be a great value on many wine lists, both of the five-star restaurant variety and French bistros. Though you will find sophisticated Cahors with subtle complexities, to me an everyday Cahors is the kind of wine that confidently announces itself with a joyful shout, not a subdued whisper. So look out for Cahors the next time you go to your local wine shop. It may be just the thing for steak grilled on your summer barbeque.