Brothers Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe bring a welcome refinement to the wines of picturesque Cahors, located about an hour and a half east of Bordeaux. The Verhaeghe vineyards were founded in the 1950s by Léon Verhaeghe, who had moved to the Lot region from his native Belgium a few years previously. His son Charles began making wines at Château du Cèdre in the 1970s and was a pioneer in that he planted vines on the poor stony soils of the Cahors appellation, at a time when most wines were mass produced. Since 1988, third-generation Pascal and Jean-Marc have continued in the same vein, perfecting the approach with their meticulous work in the vineyard and the cellar.
In 2000, the use of herbicides and chemicals was banned, and the estate was certified organic in 2012. Cahors wines are made predominantly from Malbec and are known for being powerful, rich, and dark. Pascal and Jean-Marc build on these terroir-driven qualities to produce highly polished and remarkably balanced wines, utilizing long aging periods in oak barrels and 57HL casks. These wines are quite approachable when young and also age exceptionally well.
Their meticulous approach and time-honored tradition produces wines that are focused and concentrated, long and elegant, truly capturing the beautiful Lot terroir. Today, the fourth generation, Pascal’s sons Jules and Robin, have joined the family estate, bringing a new momentum for the future.
Offering the perfect balance of quality and value, Southwest, France is a recognized appellation that encompasses all wine regions in France’s southwestern corner (except for Bordeaux and Cognac, which merit their very own). Two of the more famous subregions here are Cahors, known for its Malbec, and Madiran, home of the robust Tannat grape. Bordeaux Blends are also popular red wines of the Southwest; Petit Manseng is the regions’s star autochthonous white variety.
Celebrated for its bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec has enjoyed runaway success in Argentina since the late 20th century. The grape originated in Bordeaux, France, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends. A French agronomist, who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, brought Malbec to Argentina in 1868. Somm Secret—If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet with its combination of dense fruit and soft tannins.