Clos La Coutale 2007, Cahors, France

This wine is a classic’s classic. In fact, it reminds me of how a song was forgotten or that gained only marginal success way back when, that gets covered by a new artist and all of a sudden the original becomes a bigger hit than than the cover. Cahors is a region in the South West department of France. Clos La Coutale is an AOC Cahors. Always a hit Confit de Cuisse de Canard (Duck leg preserved in Duck Fat) serving French bistros, Cahors wines are powerful and tannic, smelling of blackcurrant and jam. Fatty foods love tannic wines. The Cahors wines have been appreciated by those in the know, and certainly better known than their used to be semi-obscure Malbec Grapes. Then along came Mendoza. Mendoza in Argentina has become a powerhouse for affordable, hearty wines – and the Malbec grape flourished there. Malbec is known as the black grape – and Mendoza has turned this dark horse grape into a chart topper. The tannin fat marriage worked well here as Mendoza Malbec products are marketed as ideal pairings for marbled steaks and juicy hamburgers. (Do yourself a favour and throw some blue cheese on that burger!)

Now that Malbec is buzz worthy, wine drinkers are willing to dig deeper into the world of the black grape – and set their sites on the original terroir. Cahors is a natural next step. Hailing from the South West of France, a region that whose wines have rarely fetched top dollar, stepping up to a Cahors is not that drastic a jump in price from the Made in Argentina alternate.

Clos La Coutale produces wine at a great value level, even though they are priced above bargain wines. The product really represents the region well. Despite their lower altitude relative Mendoza, Cahors wines show balanced fruit – and Clos Le Coutale balances dry and fruit as well as any other midrange compatriot.

So it looks like Clos La Coutale and her Cahors sisters will have to trade in their rubber boots for some high heels and show off their long legs on the red carpet. Could there be a more French story than that?

Raise a cheer to this beautiful wine with either Gordon Lightfoot’s heart-wrenching “If You Could Read My Mind” or the nouveau disco cover by Starz on 54. I suspect you might start with the original, and move to the cover as the bottle empties.

Leave a comment and me know what wine you would match with this music.

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