Southwestern France is one of the few French wine regions that somehow still has off-the-beaten-path areas that are home to everyday yet absolutely remarkable wines. Though not unknown, Cahors, equidistant from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts, is one of them.
Created in 1999, Domaine Cosse et Maisonneuve is headed by two talented oenologists and winemakers: Matthieu Cosse and Catherine Maisonneuve. After meeting during their oenology studies, they decided to make Cahors wines and took over 10 hectares in 1999 on the left bank of the Lot, renting then buying. Today the domaine farms 32 hectares in Cahors (and owns 28 more hectares), making wines that are the antithesis of the rustic image of Cahors. Their plots are situated in the optimal locations to produce the best Cahors: predominantly on the gravel and clay third terrace above the Lot river, which curves through the region. The domaine is certified organic by Ecocert, although they farm their vineyards biodynamically. Malbec is a notably complicated, finicky variety. In the wrong hands, it can create wines that are too tannic, astringent, and overripe.
“La Fage” is made from 100% Malbec, locally named Auxerrois but scientifically called Côt, a variety originating from Quercy and neither from Bordeaux nor Argentina. This cuvée shows that the variety is capable of yielding wines that are precise and elegant. The grapes are destemmed, only indigenous yeasts are used for vinification, and extraction is gentle while maceration is long. The wine is aged for 14 months in used barrels. Notes of dark plum, blackberry, subtle flowers, and earth, with a hint of leather, smoke, and dark chocolate. The tannins are medium plus and firm, and the body is medium plus, with a long finish. It’s dense but not heavy. Try it with grilled or roasted meats, duck breast, and a savory mushroom dish.
Domaine Cosse et Maisonneuve
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