For decades the Languedoc Roussillon has been touted as the next big thing in French wine. All of the pieces are there – unique grapes, distinct terroir, and a growing list of prominent winemakers. For whatever reason the region has never achieved the same notoriety as the neighbouring Rhône Valley. The wines are consequently underpriced given the high quality. These two wines from Château de Jau are strong examples of how far your dollar goes in the Languedoc Roussillon. Originally planted to vine in the 12th century by Cisternian monks (we’re talking about the same Christian order that planted much of Burgundy), the current winery was constructed in 1789. The estate has been owned by the Dauré family since 1974. The vineyards are planted across 100 hectares with a complex mixture of soil types. Looking to produce an array of approachable everyday wines, The JAJA de Jau range was launched in 1991 by Estelle Dauré. The word “jaja” is derived from the local slang for an everyday thirst quenching glass of wine.
Purple red in the glass, this Syrah shows spicy aromas of redcurrant, liquorice, and black pepper. Medium bodied with firm tannins, the palate has ripe flavours of blueberry, red plums, tobacco, and cured meats. Spicy on the finish, it is a great wine for barbecued meats.