Wines with Cot Grapes

by | Jul 8, 2016

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The Cot vine, more popularly known as the Malbec vine, is an internationally renowned black grape variety, originally from France.

Wines with Cot Grapes

Cot traces its origins in the French town of Cahors, located in southwest France, close to the town of the Pyrenees, owing to its great taste and quality of wines that have been produced so far, earned a great name among French nobles and knights.

Originally dated to have been originated around 15 AD, the variety was born when Europe largely became Christian. However, the grape is older than its attested date since it was the Romans who originally brought the grape here.

Being lighter skinned as compared to other contemporary black varieties, the grape is now predominantly produced in Argentina rather than its home country of France because of several historical reasons that occurred in the 20th century.

The Cot vine is also a multi-ethnic variety, that is, not just Argentina and France, but a lot of its global production comes from Australia, Chile, South Africa and Italy, including also the USA.

It has a very rich history behind it, making it one of the most prestigious black grapes in use today, something we describe in great detail below.

Cot is also a great blending agent when it comes to grapes like Tannat and Merlot, some of the finest French grapes available, giving it a fine name to enjoy as a blending variety.

Similar to the blended wines, Cot also makes for great varietal wines as well.

Wine grape varieties

History of Cot

Cot, or Malbec as its popularly known in the global wine market, traces its origins in the French town of Cahors, located in southwest France, close to the town of the Pyrenees.

Like most other major grape varieties that are grown in southwest France, the Cot was originally born here.

The Cot, owing to its great taste and quality of wines that have been produced so far, earned a great name among French nobles and knights.

Originally dated to have been originated around 15 AD, the variety was born when Europe largely became Christian.

However, the grape is older than its attested date since it was the Romans who originally brought the grape here.

Several records exist dating back to Roman times that describe Malbec (or Cot) in great detail. Several writers and people of fame and popularity noted the quality of Cot and jotted down their experiences in their diaries and documents.

Quite a lot of these writings exist to this day.

The wine kept on developing and increasing its cultivated area under the patronage of several writers, winemakers, kings and politically influential people. However, the variety suffered a great deal of damage during the Hundred Years War that broke out between French and English allies in 1337 and lasted till 1453.

This century of near constant military conflict severely damaged French vineyards and wine production in that era, resulting in the Cot suffering a great deal.

In the coming centuries, the Cot again witnessed adversity in the 1950s, when the great frost struck, damaging a lot of vineyards in France.

The grape by then had already been introduced in very small amounts in Argentina and Chile in the 1840s – 1850s.

The frost, however, proved more than enough that if Cot was to survive, then it needed a boost in cultivation outside France.

Ever since, Argentina has become its dominant producer.


Cot is a very susceptible variety in front of several hazards, especially mildew, frost and coulure.

Cot generally ripens mid-season and produces some intensely coloured grapes.

Cot’s characteristics also differ according to the place it has been cultivated in.

In France, where the soil and climate somewhat differ from its Argentinian counterpart, Cot tends to be stronger flavoured with higher tannins and rustic blended with fruity flavour.

The Argentinian Cot on the other hand, is juicier and fruitier with similarities of being almost a grape juice.

Cot is also a very high yielding variety, provided that its weaknesses remain in check.

Some winemakers also allow noble rot to develop that allows the grape to develop sugars that are not normally observed in.

However, too high a yield, and the grape might just produce the exact opposite of what you might expect – a wine with a very bland flavour.

Tempranillo Taste

When one first tastes the Spanish Tempranillo, it gives the flavour of leather and cherries. The finish of the wine is mild and smooth and tends to linger on both the sides of the mouth due to its medium tannin content. American and New World Tempranillo give out a lot of cherry and tomato sauce flavours followed with a chunky tannin.

The Tempranillo wines are usually classified either as full-bodied or medium-bodied wines with red fruit characteristics.

Tempranillo appears more translucent in a glass due to its thin skins and large grape size. Due to the aging style in a traditional oak, Tempranillo wines give a ruddy orange hue. As far as texture is concerned, this wine has a not so thick and a non-oily texture

Food pairing

Cot is a pretty much universal wine when it comes to food pairing.

French Cot is more rustic and intense flavoured that goes extremely well with French cheeses and desserts.

The Argentinian counterpart on the other hand is well enjoyed with local South American cuisine that has a mixture of native spicy dishes with Spanish and Portuguese influence.

Argentinian food in its generality tends to be closer to Spanish food that has a natural tendency to pair with fruity wines.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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Wines with Cot grapes

More Wines with Cot Grapes (Malbec) at page 2

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