From well-sited vines in the Lot Valley, this is always a sound benchmark wine for Cahors, in the south-west of France. The blend is 80% Malbec with 20% Merlot which creates the right balance. A wine that has structure yet roundness too, with ripe gentle brambly fruit and good length.
Cahors has been famous for its sturdy reds since the Middle Ages. Its success is based on the Malbec grape which here is known as the auxerrois. This thrives in conditions where summers are generally warmer and drier than in Bordeaux making wines that are fuller-bodied.
The Bernède family have worked the 38 hectares at Clos La Coutale, situated on the best soil in the Lot Valley, for six generations. The vineyards are south-west facing and protected from the cold winds that come down off the Causses plateaux of the Massif Centrale, so that the grapes ripen well and a shade earlier than some parts of Cahors.