Cahors was almost a ghost wine, trembling on the edge of extinction, as the 1960s dawned. It’s now producing such impressive reds that investors are sniffing the land agents’ books, encouraged by the fact that some of the greatest terroirs in the region are still unplanted.
Prominent among the reference bottles, I suspect, are those of Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe at Château du Cèdre, and those of other properties (such as Haut-Monplaisir and les Croisille) for whom Pascal consults.
Best value is probably Le Château du Cèdre (formerly “Prestige”: my half-bottles of the 2000 vintage, bought in 2003 for £5,35 each, are still going strong), but his purest and noblest wine is Le Cèdre: a pure-Malbec selection. It’s the appellation’s gold standard, year after year.
One to try: Château du Cèdre, Le Cèdre, Cahors 2007 **** 17,5/20
Scents of black plum, bay leaf, summer-evening tree bark and dry forest floor. On the palate, it’s deep, spicy, warm and accessible, despite its great depth and power. The black fruits pack out the wine’s core, rippling with meaty flesh, but there’s plenty of fragrant tobacco and spice to add extra enchantment. Drink: 2012 – 2028.
By Andrew Jefford