Our world no longer makes a vigneron like Gilles Bley of Clos Siguier. He releases his wines, not necessarily in a sequence of vintages. He hardly travels out of France to promote his wines. Time stands still at Clos Siguier. Cahors, an appellation in a sparse and remote region broadly known as Southwest, is a test of will to get there.
Least in my wine mind, Cahors is divided into two camps: vines that are grown on flat fertile lands and the vines that are cultivated on high plateaus. Cahors made from the flat fertile land is heavy, alcoholic and is of no interest. Cahors from the vines grown with care on a high limestone plateau and vinified in time-tested traditions, on the other hand, is beautiful. Clos Siguier is on the highest limestone plateau, just outskirts of a stunning hilltop village of Montcuq. Clos Siguier was found in 1779 and it has been owned by the Bley family ever since. The wines are fresh, elegant and perfumed.
From the old vines (+65 years) grown on limestone over clay rich in iron. The top soil is red from over-abundance of iron. The vines are high in elevation, where the temperature is searing during days and cold at nights during growing season. This severe contrast, with the red soil, gives this wine its perfume and elegance. Hand-picked grapes are fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and aged in enormous stainless steel tanks for about two years until the wine settles.
Vieilles Vignes, meaning old vines, yield tiny berries that lend depth and complexity in wines. From the oldest parcels (+80 years) from the same vineyard as above. The élévage is a little longer than the above Cahors wine and the composition of the varietals is slightly different – 90% Malbec and 10% Tennat. Camille is the name of Gilles Bley's daughter.