Côt is a black grape from France that now is Argentina’s most planted grape under the name Malbec.

With reports of plantings in eighteen countries, it is likely that there will be an increase in different styles of Côt/Malbec wines in the future.

Characteristics
Côt is a grape that provides dark colour, high tannin levels and dark skin­ned fruit fla­vours, such as plum and black­berry.

It com­mon­ly also has a gentle spici­ness to it. Acid­i­ty is me­di­um to me­di­um high depending on growth place climate.

In order to get grapes for quality wines, the grape needs to be submitted to green harvest. To become fully ripe, Cot requires quite warm climate and long season. If not fully ripe it is likely to come with vegetative flavours. Côt will thrive if cultivated in higher altitudes.

Wines
Côt/Malbec’s best expressions come from high altitude growth places in Mendoza in Argentina. Look for wines from Cuyo or Maipu. There are also excellent varietal wines to be found in Cahors in South West France. In Bordeaux, it is usually found in blends.

Food pairing
Côt/Malbec is your typical “red meat dish” wine, that will pair excellently with grilled or barbecued meats based on pork, veal, and beef. It is also very nice with dry cheeses. Best served at 16-18°C/61-64°F.

Where is it grown?
Côt’s world-wide plantings are 46.663 ha/100.480 ac, an increase with thirty-eight percent in ten years. This makes Côt the twenty-first most planted grape in the world.

  • Argentina 31.047 ha/76,719 ac, Mpg rank 1
  • France 6.123 ha/15,130 ac, Mpg rank 20
  • Chile 1.264 ha/3,123 ac, Mpg rank 11

In Argentina, Côt can be found in all regions, with most plantings being in Mendoza.

In France, seventy percent of the plantings are in South West France, and in particular in Cahors. The remaining percentage is divided between Bordeaux, Loire, and Languedoc-Roussillon. In Chile, plantings are in the Valle Central region.

Plantings are reported also from USA, South Africa, Australia, Italy, and New Zealand.

Small plantings (e.g. less than 100 ha/247 ac) can be found in Spain, Uruguay, Canada, Moldavia, Brazil, Turkey, Switzerland, Peru, Romania, and Hungary.

History
Côt is an old variety that is thought to have originated in Cahors in South West France. There is documentation of the grape that goes three centuries back.