In France, the appellation where a wine originates and the rules that govern its production are as important to consumers as grape variety is to the American consumer.
That is one reason why producers who make pays d’Oc IGP wines have their sights set on the American market. Pays d’Oc are wines are made in that great swath of land along the French Mediterranean that encompasses Languedoc and Roussillon. Freed of regulations, the winemakers are allowed to make wines as they want to, often at less expensive pricing. Coincidentally, most of these wines are varietals.
Here are five popular Pays d’Oc red varietals.
Gerard Bertrand reserve speciale pinot noir pays d’Oc 2012 ($12). The wine has classic pinot flavors of dark cherries with medium body and a crisp finish.
Luc Pirlet reserve syrah-Mourvèdre pays d’Oc 2012 ($11). A very fruit-forward wine of moderate body, it has bright cherry flavors rimmed with balancing bitters edges.
Le Jaja de Jau syrah pays d’Oc 2012 ($8). This is a nice everyday wine with straightforward blackberry and chocolate flavors and a savory finish.
Laroche cabernet sauvignon pays d’Oc 2012 ($12). Cherry fruit flavors with lots of cherry stems and dark chocolate in the finish, this bottle illustrates the savory side of cab sauvignon.
B&G reserve cabernet sauvignon pays d’Oc 2012 ($9). Good fresh fruit, but it comes across more as a cheery merlot than a savory cab.