by Philippe Bernède
Deep in the southwest of France, amidst dramatic rock formations and cliffs, the Lot River slowly snakes its way along the valley floor, coiling covetously around the charming town of Cahors. The diversity in architecture serves as a proud historical mark left by many previous generations of inhabitants. Once a former Roman town, Cahors was also as a center of commerce during the Middle Ages that served as an important crossroads for pilgrims on the trail to Santiago de Compostella. Among the many specialties that have brought pride to the region, the constant has been its wine. A.O.C. Cahors is known as the “black wine” of the Southwest—the deeply inky, earthy wines that seem to complement the regional fare of duck (and duck fat!) so wonderfully. Cahors is also the birthplace of Cot, the grape more commonly known as Malbec.
Philippe Bernède is no stranger to the south-west as his family has farmed vines here for many generations. His Château La Grave stands out as it is 100% Malbec, a rarity here in Cahors as most often the wines are blended with up to 30% Merlot or Tannat. La Grave is an incredible value on multiple levels—it is a hearty, full-bodied wine to drink now and a top candidate for your cellar.
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