Posted on December 9th, 2007
This one is a Maison Maurel Vedeau “Les Cépages” Pinot Noir “Saveurs Veritables” Vin de Pays d’Oc 2005
(Image swiped from the winemakers website, maurel-vedeau.com)
It’s pretty tough to get a Pinot Noir for under €10, let alone €20. So, when I saw this one for €9.95 in Drinkstore in Stoneybatter, I thought I’d give it a whirl. It came recommended from the guy in Drinkstore (fresh raspberries was his description)
- Smells: Fresh raspberries (I bought some raspberries in Tesco just to compare and so I wasn’t simply agreeing with a stated authoritative opinion).
- Tastes: Very fruity, dry and long lasting. Very tasty, more of tart redcurrant than raspberry.
- Verdict: Thoroughly decent wine and a steal at €9.95. Much better than some of the Chilean sub-tenner Pinot Noirs, Cono Sur for example. I’m going back to stock up for Christmas.
In France, Burgundy is the true home of Pinot Noir, but this one is from the Pays d’Oc in the south. It’s also a Vin De Pays.
What’s “Vin De Pays”?
Vin de Pays, which you’ll see on the back label, means “country wine”. It is a categorisation scheme in France and is viewed as superior to the “Vin de Table” variety.
Vin de Table can be made from grapes from anywhere, whereas Vin de Pays has an associated geography, though much broader than the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), but not as tightly controlled.
In the above case, a Vin de Pays d’Oc is from anywhere within Languedoc or Roussillon.
The Vin de Pays scheme also means that “upstart” winemakers that don’t like the strict guidelines of the AOC , can go and do their own thing, sometimes with great results.
What Vin de Pays have done, which you don’t see on the AOC wines, is put the name of the grape on the label. In the wine business, this is a big deal. Consumers can now see from what grape their wine is made from (without having to refer to a Wine Atlas). How revolutionary! It actually is, for the French.
Australia, Chile and the other popular wine producing countries hadn’t been shackled by the silly outdated regulations of French wine production, and they’ve been cleaning up for years. The looser Vin de Pays regulations means the Frenchies can at least start to compete in the same market as the new world.
That’s not to say that Vin de Pays is always cheap, it can be pricey. So there you have it, a quick intro into Vin de Pays.