Cahors is actually a red wine from the Cahors region in France. However, the red wines made from the vineyards from the Lot river valley in Cahors have a deep, dark color that makes them look almost black. Hence, they are called Black Wines.
Cahors wines are some of the richest and strongest wines in the world. Around 4,400 hectares of land is cultivated only for making Cahors wines, and thus it is one of the rarest wines in the world. Yet again, they are also some of the oldest wines, and you can even keep them for ages.
Black Wines were loved by the Roman emperors and Russian Tsars, and have been some of the most sought after wines for decades. Cahors wines were spotted on the marriage ceremony of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet in 1152.
Like many other famous vineyards of the past, the Cahors vineyards were hit by the pest phylloxera during the 19th century, and then by heavy frost. These consequent disasters wiped the vineyards from the region and they had to be replanted later.
Most of the vineyards are located on the gravel terraces along the Lot river valley. The vineyards are formed along the third and second terraces, as the lowest terrace is not suitable for viticulture.
As the Atlantic Ocean influences the climate in Cahors, the region has wet winters and hot summers. The Lot river plays a key role in the micro climate of the vineyards, and in the production of Black Wines.
The main component of the Black Wines of Cahors is Malbec grapes (70% of the wine). The other major varieties of grapes used are Merlot and Jurançon, which are locally known as Côt, Côt Noir, or Auxerrois.
The dark color of the wine is acquired from the high concentration of polyphenols from different grape skins. The wines from the Cahors region are robust and powerful, but with modern winemaking techniques, manufacturers can develop smooth and supple tannins with elegant texture and vibrant aromatic features.
Some wine lovers call the Black Wine spicy because of its black fruits and spices contents. Due to their lower alcohol content, acidity, and moderate tannin, Black Wines of Cahors age longer, and go well with stew and meat.