The Rise of the Underdog

  Often in the pantheon of great wines IGP is overlooked as a lot of people cling to the familiar. Compared with the words Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and even Provence the title just sounds unwieldy and lacking in the sort of specificity that a lot of folks settle for when choosing a wine.

 Next time you're looking for something interesting to drink then look out for wines with IGP on the label because not only are they often little beauties in the glass, they can be little bargains on the wallet, as I found when I tried the wines below. First a little history lesson.

 Formerly referred to as 'Vin de Pays' or regional wine, the Pays d'Oc Protected Geographical Indication was introduced on 1st August 2009.

 Vintage and varietal statements are now organised for IGP wines, making the approach straightforward for consumers. What this means for most of us is that these wines are no longer lacking when it comes to what is in the bottle. These are wines that can hold their own and I'd urge you to give them a try if you've not already done so.

Château de Paraza

Oh La La 2018

 And here comes the cherry and strawberries that dominate the flavours in this wine. A little bit of plum comes up for air and so does a little pepper.

 It's a smoothly tannic wine that is not over oaked and is very drinkable. I particularly enjoyed the meaty fruits, green peppers and velvety chocolate I got.

4.5 out of 7


Domaine de la Metairie D'Alon Le Village 

Pinot Noir 2019

 Really surprising Pinot with bags of lovely red fruit, spice, pepper from Southern France.

 The strawberry and raspberry notes dominated as well as herbs and spices. It was such a quaffable wine that I enjoyed and intend to revisit.

5 out of 7


Septem Quercus 2018.

 The velvety Merlot is underpinned by a warm Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc addition, and I found this to be a wine with real potential.

 The oak and black fruit are still a little strong, but when this wine grows up it's going to be a little stunner.


5.5 out of 7


Domaine Coudoulet. 

Ournac Freres 

Pinot Noir 2020

 I can't continue without first mentioning the label and the utterly charming picture of a chap climbing out of a barrel. This wine is worth buying just so you can own one of their bottles, but what does it actually taste like?

 At the start there's a cherry aroma that is followed by a silky smoothness that gives way to strawberries and cherries.

 There's a little pepper, but it doesn't threaten the wine, and along with the mixture of cedar, toast and low tannins this wine is a real winner

6 out of 7

Domaine Sibille.  

Les P'tites Terrasses Terre de Grès Moelleux 2020

 I'm enjoying this wine and finding  green fruit, icing sugar and nail varnish on the nose. There is an addition of the floral, plenty of lemon and stone fruit that is in the right place.

 I visit a second time and am now rewarded with a little ripe pear, pungent fruit tastes, bell peppers and straw. Most enjoyable and I can't wait to open a bottle for friends on a Sunday

4 out of 7


Bruno Andreu

Elixir Blanc 2018

 Let's start by admiring that solid lemon colour as you hold the glass up to the light.

 The nose is green fruit, floral, straw, light perfume, edge of liquorice and a sliver of cream.

 The taste is pungent green apple lying in the grass, the liquorice is slightly more pronounced, peach stone and nettle.

4.5 out of 7

Domaine de la Cendrillon. 


 A lovely dark plum colour that reveals blackcurrant and black plum lying on a tight forest floor. Along comes, menthol, Ribena, sweet dark cherry and this is all constructed with the heart of balance at its centre.

 The taste is holding back and surprising me. I'm getting dark fruits, forest floor and spice, oak and cedar box wood.

5.5 out of 7


Domaine de Bachellery.  

Baccalarius 2016

 This winery is based in the town of Beziers, which used to be the town that was twinned with my hometown (I believe it still might be). Already I'm feeling slightly warm towards it.

 It starts with a wonderfully rich colour in the glass and it's the sort of wine you can admire as the sun passes through it.

 On the nose I was getting red fruits, particularly cherry and floral notes nudging the wine.

 The taste is elegant and as the fruit settles down it's joined by toast and pepper. I thought it had finished but there's a little chocolate and coffee at the backend.

 This will reach its peak in about two or three years.

6 out of 7

Domaine Guilhem N116 


 Interesting to name your wine after a road. I'm not sure that Château A12 would work as well!

 The cork is popped and the aromas are leaping to get out of the bottle in a fruity assault on the senses.

 On the nose there's baked, squashed fruit. The hints of damson jam mix with a polished table. The smell of Enchiladas are there and I'm feeling that this is a comfortable wine that doesn't stand on ceremony.

 In the mouth, the black fruit takes on a non-threatening spicy hint and the whole thing is easy to take. A hint of graphite but no more.

 I think this is a wine to give to friends as you welcome them. Don't you dare keep it all to yourself!

4 out of 7 


 In this tasting there were no shortage of wines to recommend, and if I had to pick one stand out wine from this bunch then I'm going for the Domaine de Bachellery. To me it showed the difference between what people think of when they hear the words, 'IGP' and the reality of what is travelling beautifully out of that area.

 I'm hoping that in July's edition I'll be taking a trip to the area, getting boots on the ground and finding some further recommendations to give you. Stick around it's going to be fun!