Vignerons du Quercy
The Coteaux du Quercy is an interesting area about 20 miles south of Cahors where its limestone plateau is a great place for growing Cabernet Franc. Other Bordeaux varietals and indigenous grapes of the area such as Tannat can also be used in each year's blends but overall this area provides a very interesting expression of Cabernet Franc and I've selected two reds and also a very delightful rose.
The area also a very long viticultural history as an interesting part of its recorded history is that the Emperor Domltian in AD 96 issued an order that all the grape vines in Quercy were to be removed. I don't know if he didn't like some wine that he consumed from the area or he was an early proponent of prohibition but I guess that messing with grape growers is ill-advised as he met his demise soon thereafter in an assassination plot.
Although the overall area is small at around only 300 acres of vineyards under cultivation it has excellent growing conditions. The limestone plateau where most of the vineyards are located provides a strong backbone of minerality to the wines and the very sunny summer weather in the area promotes very richly flavored and ripe grapes which then produce very fully flavored wines.
The wine producers in the area are also mainly small family owned farms which I think adds to how interesting the wines can be from the area. The local growers have established a joint marketing organization, however, which uses the name "Vignerons du Quercy" and which also handles tastings for all the growers at their local office. I tasted ten wines during the day of my visit and they were are well-made and interesting.
Since I also focus on food pairings, however, I was a bit puzzled by one of the wines as although it was interesting and had a quite robust flavor profile, I had a hard time thinking up many food pairings. And so, I then asked my host: "Francis, qu'est-ce que vous mangiez avec ce vin ?" And Francis, who is also a great guy by the way, suddenly looked like I had made his day and with a big smile responded with "Chevreau !"
While I usually enjoy French food a lot, I also typically stay away from some of the really weird stuff that can be on French menus but I also didn't recall even having seen Chevreau before. Then I suddenly thought...Chevre?...is he talking about Goat? Indeed he was, as Roast Goat is a local specialty! While that wine was interesting, however, I don't think there is big market for a wine that goes well with Goat in the U.S. and so that was not one of the wines ultimately selected!
“630” Blanc 2019
The “630” name is from the first year of a recorded harvest from the vineyards of Quercy. The wine is an interesting blend of 43% Sauvignon Blanc, 41% Chardonnay, and 16% Muscadelle. Aromas include white flowers, honeysuckle, citrus blossoms, white grapefruit, kiwi, tangerine, and kumquat. Flavors include white grapefruit, white peaches, and Meyer lemon. There is a medium body, good balance and acidity, and a refreshing “saturated” and minerally finish.
Food pairings would include sole, shrimp, crab, halibut, branzino, swordfish, clams, mussels, calamari, seafood pasta and salads, veal and pork cutlets, pork tenderloin, chicken, paella, Asian pork, chicken, seafood, vegetable, and noodle dishes, Mexican chicken and pork dishes, creamy Mexican food, and green salads.
Nouveaux Chemins Rouge 2020 (OC, NF)
This is a blend of 46% Cabernet Franc, 19% Tannat, 18% Malbec, and 17% Merlot. Aromas include blackberries, dark plums, blueberry compote, and pomegranate. Flavors include blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, and dark cherries. There is a quite elegant medium body, perfect balance and acidity, and a rich, refreshing, and minerally finish.
Food pairings would include filet mignon, short ribs, beef stew, veal chops, pork chops, roast pork, BBQ ribs, grilled chicken, salmon, tuna, shrimp, clams, mussels, seafood pasta, paella, Asian pork and chicken dishes, Mexican beef, pork, and chicken dishes, pork and chicken verde, pork and chicken enchiladas, Indian lamb curries, and medium to rich cheeses.
La Juste Mesure Rouge 2015 (NF)
This is a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc, 17% Malbec, 16% Tannat, and 12% Merlot from selected parcels of older vines. Aromas include dark cherries, blackberries, dark chocolate, and blueberries. Flavors include dark cherries, blackberries, and hints of dark chocolate. There is what seems like a medium body but which fully saturates your palate with the flavors, good balance and acidity, and a long minerally full finish with an interesting hint of tannins.
Food pairings would include filet mignon, New York Steak, short ribs, beef stew, grilled veal, pork chops, lamb chops and rack of lamb, grilled chicken, coq au vin, cassoulet, grilled sausages, BBQ ribs, salmon, paella, grilled shrimp, Asian beef, pork, and chicken dishes, Mexican beef and pork dishes, simple “rustic” dishes such as with black beans or pinto beans, lamb curries, pasta with meat sauce, charcuterie, and medium to rich cheeses.