Our Wines

For our Cahors wine, we want to achieve the maximum fruit to balance the naturally high tannin of the malbec grapes. In our white and rosé wines we strive for freshness, concentration of fruit and above all the essential balance between the components of the wine.

We follow closely new developments in winemaking techniques, both in France and in the wider world. We experiment with new methods, when they are appropriate for our grapes and the kind of wine we make, but our goal remains to make good wine with a distinctly French character.

New wine classifications - There have recently been changes to the traditional classifications of wine in order to uniformatise the system across the EU. Thus the old AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) becomes AOP(Appellation d'Origine Protégée), although the use of AOC remains as an option. The old Vin de Pays becomes IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée). In the Lot we have taken advantage of the changes to have the term Côtes du Lot authorised for our Vin de Pays. Thus the old Vin de Pays du Lot becomes IGP Côtes du Lot. The regulations for growing the vines and making the wines remain largely unchanged. At Domaine du Garinet, the changes on the labels will take some time to appear, as we print our labels several years at a time in order to economise on printing costs, which are very high for small runs.

Red Wine - Cahors Malbec

All our reds are appellation protégée Cahors and are made 100% from the malbec grape variety, which is responsible for the exceptionally deep colour and hence the name of the ‘Black Wine of Cahors’. It also gives the wine good fruit, excellent body and aging potential. Cahors is the birthplace of malbec, which is now also an important variety in Argentina. The majority of the best Cahors wines are made wholly from malbec, and we believe that it is these wines that achieve the full individuality of the appellation.

Each year we mature some of our Cahors in oak, and we bottle some without oak aging. The difference is of style rather than quality – all these wines have the same intrinsic quality because they are made from the same original wine – only the aging methods are different.

Most of our red wines are made to be kept – vins de garde. In time, they will mature into a complex and satisfying balance. They will not reveal their full quality when young and this is why we sell these wines only after they have acquired sufficient bottle age to begin to show their potential. Most will keep and improve for several years more.

Our Cuvée Bonheur is a wine of a quite different style – soft, fresh and fruity with low tannin, to be enjoyed within its first two to four years.

Red Wine List

These are the red wines which we are currently selling, See How to Buy for vintages available, prices and delivery terms.

•Cahors Cuvée Bonheur  Malbec

A fresh fruity wine with low tannin, made to be drunk and enjoyed young. No oak contact.

•Cahors Classique Malbec

Not aged in oak. Bottled a year earlier than the oak aged wines. Each year the wine used is exactly the same as that used for barrel aging.

•Cahors Réserve Malbec

This is also a barrel-aged wine, but using older barrels. It has the roundness of a barrel-aged wine but only faint oak flavour. Currently unavailable - the Réserve 2008 will be released during the course of 2017.

•Cahors Fût de Chêne Malbec

Aged in barrels of French oak for about 14 months and bottled some 18 months after the harvest. The barrel-aging softens and rounds the tannins of the wine and gives greater complexity to the flavour.

2007 Classique Label

Red Vintage Guide

We have been lucky to have a long run of very good to excellent years in recent times. All the vintages we currently offer are of very fine quality.

We have included guidance on how long the wines will continue to improve in bottle. Red wines made for keeping become finer, softer and more complex with age. The point at which a wine is ‘at its best’ is rather subjective because some people like the taste of older wines more than others. Having reached its optimum, the wine will start to decline slowly, but should remain enjoyable for several more years. Our 1995 Cahors is still very pleasant to drink, although it is (to our taste) less exciting than it was a few years back.

2003 – the year of the heat wave, with sustained temperatures in August of 40°C. The grapes were extremely ripe - many had dried into raisins on the vines and had to be removed prior to harvest. Cahors wines of this year have a characteristic toasty taste; they are very rich and ripe, reminiscent of more southerly wines in a normal year. Wines of power and richness. Excellent now and should keep well for several years.

2004 – a typical Cahors year, more tannic than the 2002s but with excellent concentrated fruit; the oak aged wines are as usual a little more forward than the unoaked Classique.

2005 – a very good year throughout south west France, with excellent balance and finesse. These are now beginning to be enjoyable; the Classique and the Réserve are now sold out, but we still have reasonable stock of theFût de Chêne. We expect the 2005s to continue improving for several more years.

2008 – we are currently selling the Classique which is beginning to be enjoyable but will continue to evolve - the tanin is still noticeable, which makes it an excellent accompaniment to rich dishes such as confit de canard or roast goose.

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White Wines

Sunlight through Vineleaves

Although there is little tradition of making white wine in the Lot, there is a growing interest and there are now sufficient plantings to show that very high quality white can be grown in this area. Around 30% of our production is white wine.

Wine Label La Combe

The wines are classified as IGP Côtes du Lot (previously Vin de Pays du Lot). For historical reasons, there is no appellation protégée for white (or rosé) in our area. These wines are made with all the care and quality control that we use for our appellation protégée reds.

Our cépages are sauvignon and chardonnay, which we bottle as separate varietals. Our main production of chardonnay is unoaked, but we make a limited quantity of barrel-fermented wine in favourable years. This latter wine improves with a little bottle age.

All our white wines are sur lie - this means that they are kept on the fermentation lies until the spring, to develop ‘fatness’ and complexity.

La Combe - sauvignon, dry, full, fruity and aromatic - full of sauvignon varietal character.

Le Clos - dry chardonnay with no oak contact, concentrated and rich.

Le Clos d'Or - dry chardonnay fermented and aged on the lies in new French oak barriques.



Keeping our white wines

The Le Clos chardonnay keeps and improves remarkably well if kept in reasonable conditions. All the vintages back to our first in 2002 are still very enjoyable - the 2003 is particularly good at the moment.

The La Combe sauvignon also remains very drinkable for several years - the oldest we have tasted recently is the 2007. However the fresh and pungent aromas of the young wine fade after a few years, but it remains with a good taste in the mouth. If you like a typically aromatic sauvignon we recommend you to drink it within two years or so of the vintage .

See How to Buy for vintages available, prices and delivery terms.

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Rosé

Rosé Bottles

photo Michele Ch'i

Our dry rosé is made from 100% malbec. Cool fermentation and the avoidance of air contact ensure a fruity, aromatic and refreshing wine, excellent for summer drinking.

Rosé Label





The wine is a blend of components made by two different methods, each contributing its particular qualities to the final wine (see Winemaking).

Like our whites, the rosé is kept on the lies until spring to add ‘fatness’ and complexity. It is classified IGP Côtes du Lot (previously Vin de Pays du Lot).

• Rosé Malbec Sec



Keeping rosé

Rosé is best drunk within the first year or so after its vintage, when it will retain all its freshness and vitality

See How to Buy for vintages available, prices and delivery terms.





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Food with our wines

Here are a few ideas of the food we think goes especially well with our wines. This list is by no means exhaustive and you can find one or other of our wines that will go really well with most dishes. The exception is puddings, since we don’t make sweet wine. Do try white wines with cheeses sometimes – they can often be better than red, contrary to received opinion!

La Combe  sauvignon:

Le Clos  chardonnay:

Cahors Cuvée Bonheur:

Cahors Classique, Réserve and Fût de Chêne:

Rosé:

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