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Cahors is an appellation in South Western France famed for its “black wines” made from the Malbec grape. Locals will tell you that in years gone by these powerful wines were more in demand than their lighter counterparts from Bordeaux. Nowadays they represent a value alternative to Claret, particularly if you’re looking for something to pair with hearty dishes like Cassoulet and Confit de Canard. The wines are sometimes blended with a little merlot or Malbec, to bring a little more approachability, and are increasingly planted on the limestone slopes of the valley rather than the heavier clay and gravel valley floor. A propensity for rusticity means that a gentle hand with extraction is one of the key attributes of the new wave of Cahors, and led by the likes of Jean-Luc Baldes, a new breed of producers are emerging, coaxing a previously unforeseen elegance and drinkability from this regions’ naturally powerful wines.