The wines of Cosse et Maissoneuve wines are not the norm for Cahors, as many of you may have experienced with another cuvée they make, “La Fage.” The wines are ripe but not jammy, and they are uncommonly elegant for Cahors, an area in Southwestern France that is equidistant from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts. The winemaking is precise and accurate, yielding elegant, smooth, aerial wines that express their terroir and have incredible aging potential.
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.
The fruit for “Solis” comes from a plot in the lightest part of the terrace, defined by gravel and alluvial soils. It’s the estate’s entry-level wine and is immediately enjoyable and delicious, what the French would call a vin de copain, or a wine of conviviality. The fruit is destemmed and vinified in vats, helping preserve its velvety character. “Solis” shows notes of blackberry, plum, and violet, with supple tannins and a pleasant herbal character commonly found in well-made Malbec. Pair “Solis” with braised beef shank or your favorite charcuterie board. The 2018 vintage in Cahors is noted for powerful, concentrated wines, so this is a great one to grab extra bottles of and age for a few years.
Cosse et Maisonneuve
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