Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Amboise seeks Côt-solidation.......

 Ambition for a new Appellation 

During the heatwave water had pride of place....

On Thursday and Friday (27th and 28th June) I was in Amboise for the conference – Amboise and Côt. Amboise is seeking promotion from Appellation Touraine-Amboise to the cru status of Amboise, dropping the mention of Touraine in a move up the AOP pyramid. The intention is that the new Amboise appellation will be for wines from only two grape varieties – Côt for red and rosés and Chenin Blanc for whites.  It is hoped that this can all be concluded in three years time. I suspect that this timing is optimistic and agreement by the INAO and the French government is likely to take more time. 

This week's conference focused on Côt – also known in some parts of the world as Malbec. Côt producers from Amboise were joined by Auxerrois producers from Cahors. Auxerrois is the local for Côt in Cahors and apparently the original name for this grape variety. 

 Xavier Frissant, leading Touraine Amboise producer 
and President of Touraine-Amboise
A leading actor behind the push for AOP Amboise

Jérémy Arnaud
Terroir manager from Cahors
and animator of the conference

Henri Galinie 

Samuel Leturcq

Leonard Laborie

The morning of Thursday 27th was dedicated to a detailed explanation of the origins of Côt and to the similarities and differences between the climate, soils and topography Amboise and Cahors. There were four principal speakers: Henri Galinie (expert in the history of grape varieties in the Loire Valley), Léonard Laborie (historien chercheur au CNRS), Samuel Leturcq (maître de conférence en histoire médiévale à l'Université de Tours) and Françoise Vannier (expert des terroirs, Cabinet ADAMA).  

The parents of Auxerrois/Côt are the Madeleine Noir from Charentes and the Prunelard Noir with is origins in south west France. The the first textual mention of Côt in Touraine is in the latter part of the 18th Century. However, according to Henri Galinie, expert in the history of grape varieties in the Loire Valley, it is very likely that it was planted here during the 16th Century. 

The name Malbec comes from a Monsieur Malbec, who was either a nurseryman or a a producer or perhaps both who managed to make Malbec a popular variety in Bordeaux during the 19th Century from where it was widely exported to Australia, Argentina and Chile. Hence the current domination of the name Malbec. 

The tunnel under the Château d'Amboise   

After a steamy morning passed in the heat of the conference theatre we repaired to the very welcome cool of the tunnel under the Château d'Amboise to taste a range of wines from Amboise and Cahors. My comments on the wines will appear in a subsequent post.   



1 comment:

Graham said...

I've been away for a few days and only just seen this very informative post. I look forward to seeing your tasting notes and thoughts - and anything more on the history of Cot in the Loire would also be fascinating.