This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Red Regional France under £15 went to Pelvillian Frères, Château du Port Cuvée Prestige, Cahors 2012 (13%)

Tasted against:

  • Château Vincens, Prestige, Cahors 2012


Cahors can trace its wine-producing history to the end of the Roman conquest, and as such has one of the oldest viticultural traditions in France. Notably thriving during the 12th and 13th centuries under English rule, transport via Bordeaux along the Lot river proved a costly impediment, with the Bordelais taxing and restricting the sale of ‘the black wine of Cahors’ in favour of their own wines. Cahors, however, has always had its devotees, with Peter the Great – and hordes of pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela – among them.

Plantings in the 19th century ran to 40,000 hectares, but stand at just 4,500ha today, due to phylloxera and then to severe frosts just as post-war reconstitution was underway. Burgundian Claude Pelvillain, who arrived in Cahors in the 1960s, married the daughter of a local vigneron, and was instrumental in lobbying for the region’s appellation status in 1971.

Brothers Arnaud, Didier and Francis run operations at this winery, farming 36ha. This Trophy-winner comes from gravelly terraces covered in iron-rich pebbles at 100m altitude. Pest and weed control is used sparingly and yields are kept naturally low thanks to a permanent grass covering between rows. Fruit is destemmed before fermentation, followed by ageing in French oak casks.

Written by Decanter