In the heart of the French Dordogne is Cahors, famous for its ‘black wine’. This is malbec country or cot as it’s known locally and although the wine of this region is often sumptuously rich and full bodied it has perhaps become more refined over recent years. Jean-Luc Burc’s estate, located near Puy-l’Eveque in the north west of the region has been an established winemaking area for centuries and has recently been elevated to Chateau status. Chateau Pineraie is 85% malbec (the legal minimum is 70%) which Jean-Luc blends with merlot to add a brambly softness to the wine. Don’t be put off by the strong rural nose of this wine because the palate is fantastic. Intense berry fruit with plum, blackberry and lots of spice. Vanilla and soft oak as well as violets and a potpourri character add complexity, which is balanced by gentle tannins. Smooth and sumptuous, this wine expresses the almost tender notes of malbec. The current vintage, 2009 is a real eye-opener; just £10.25.