WTN: Cahors

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WTN: Cahors

Postby Otto » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:41 pm

Domaine Cosse Maisonneuve Cahors Le Combal 2008
Most other experiences I've had with Cahors have been disappointing because of excessive use of oak. This one is different. This one is nice! The smell is quite undeveloped and inexpressive even after 3h open. But the palate is wonderful! So this is the famous black wine: powerful, tannic, big, chewy, meaty, yet actually very moreish and refreshing. Or is black wine a thing of a bygone age?
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Re: WTN: Cahors

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:45 pm

There are still both types of Cahors. During my business travels to the general area I had oaky monsters and tannic, uncooth, beasts that oozed tradition. Cheaper was usually better!
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Re: WTN: Cahors

Postby Hoke » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:03 pm

David is correct but doesn't take it quite far enough.

There are four "emerging" styles of Cahors, as I discovered when I attended the Fete Malbec/Journaux du Cahors a couple of years ago. We did several tastings, including a couple of exhaustingly educational ones led by such people as Bettane and Jeffords, where we tasted and classified the different styles of Cahors.

There are still the "ancestral/traditional" producers of the full and rugged and teeth-darkening black wine of Cahors. There are the "Global" entrees, the oak and vanilla and ripe-grape smoothies with too much money and too many new oak barrels. There are the leaner, tauter, claret styles (more Merlot, less Tannat) that can be quite structured and elegant. And there are the fresh and fruity supermarket/volume wines to sustain the bulk low-priced category. There's also a snug little niche that was emerging when I was there; don't know how much it has grown since; it was the 'natural/orange/terracotta' school, of which there were some astoundingly good examples (but I didn't go freelancing and stayed within the guided wineries to accommodate my hosts, so I didn't taste any atrocities, although I suspect there have to be some.)

Cahors is going through a soul-searching and a shaking out, but they are doing it seriously and intelligently---and for a miracle, with a sense of community and cooperation for the most part. Cahors is not the monolithic entity it once was, and I doubt it will be ever again.
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Re: WTN: Cahors

Postby Tim York » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:46 am

Thanks for that clear exposition, Hoke. I attended a similar event in 2008, I think, but didn't get a tutored tasting like that.

For my palate, though perhaps not for Otto's :?: , some of the initially oaky Cahors offerings do integrate into fine wines with real Cahors distinctiveness after about 10 years, e.g. Lamartine's Expression and Triguedina's Probus, but I think that Lagrézette's will never be other than smoothly international. My personal jury is still out on the up-market offerings of Le Cèdre and Cosse-Maisonneuve but I have enjoyed their entry level wines.

I long to try one of the terracotta raised cuvées.
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