Argentina 2, France 0

After accumulating some Cahors from the 2011 vintage, I decided to do a small tasting; it didn’t take long, and my kitchen drainpipes are cleaner than ever. All were rather heavy, over-extracted, and unyielding, in an expression of a certain style of winemaking rather than terroir or what the grape (Malbec) can do. The most interesting thing to emerge was the prominence given to the grape name rather than the region—either Cahors was completely omitted from the front label, or in smaller type than Malbec, which has, of course, been popularized by some lovely wines from Argentina. (Another sign of its popularity is the way clothing retailers now refer to a deep shade of purple in their fabrics as “Malbec” instead of “Burgundy.”)
          Many of the Cahors also came in heavy bottles with deep punts and minimalist labels, imitating too many from North and South America trying to bull their way into the winner’s circle on appearance alone. (I’m beginning to be wary of the very deep indents in the bottoms of these ambitious bottles, intended to announce seriousness, but really just telegraphing the punchiness of their style—I think of them as “Parker punts.”)
copyright 2010-2015 by Brian St. Pierre