Cot N (Malbec or Auxerrois)

@ Gilles Cattiau / INRA

Cot is part of the Cotoïdes family, grape varieties very present and indigenous to the southwest. Certain authors believe this grape variety, also called Auxerrois, as the same one described by Columelle as (grape variety highly prized by bees) in his important agronomy treaty “De re rustica” from the 1st century of our era. Baudel (1972) writes: “Cantors and historians have a widespread tendency to hypothesize that our Auxerrois is none other than the former ‘Aminée’ of the Neapolitan countryside sung by Horace and Virgil”.

Often referred to as Malbec outside southwestern France, Cot belongs to the cotoid family and was the most cultivated grape in the region prior to the phylloxera invasion. It’s an offspring of Prunelard, a variety originally from the southwest.

Thanks to a perfect mastery of vitivinicultural techniques, many producers of Cahors today – where Malbec represents at least 70% of the blend – produce elegant and very aromatic wines that can be cellared for years. The region also produces Cahors wines with more emphasis on the fruity expression of Malbec and intended to be enjoyed young. Malbec is also cultivated in Côtes de Brulhois.

White cottony bud with a carmine edge. Young leaves heart-shaped, downy with tan patches. Adult leaves whole or trilobed. Petiole sinus open in V or U. Medium-sized bunches with round grapes.

Cot (Malbec) gives a very fruity wine, fragrant, very colorful, rich in tannins, suitable for aging. Aromas are of cedar wood, cocoa, blackcurrant, leather, spices, dried fruit, redcurrant, jasmine, blueberry, plum, violet…

A low-yielding grape variety, Cot used to give the alcoholic “black wines” of Cahors and Brulhois which were used as so-called “doctor” wines for Bordeaux wines prior to 1789. Today, Cot wines are robust and represent a typical range of wines from Southwest France.

Production area: 4,096 ha (10,121 acres)

@ Gilles Cattiau / INRA