I never buy wines under $10. So, when I saw that Prime Wines had bottles of Baron Philippe de Rothschild's Vin de Pays D'Oc Pinot Noir on sale for $5, I paused over it briefly but kept on walking. I thought that no matter what name may appear on the bottle, it would always be a $5 bottle of wine.
Well, thanks to a party at David and Rose Hershenov's--home of western New York's most popular floating bar--I got to try some. I couldn't believe how drinkable this wine was. And by 'drinkable' I don't mean "drinkable by those who don't know good wine from a Dr. Pepper." I have since bought half a case, and I may go back for more.
The Rothschild Pays D'Oc Pinot Noir had a deep red color and a fruity nose, the latter being dominated by black cherry with some hints of violets. It had a smooth but firm tannin structure. I can't imagine a better $5 wine.
The 'Vin de Pays' label denotes an intermediary quality level that lies between the Vin de Table category and the class of wines that receive the appellation d'origine contrôlée certification. The Pays D'Oc region is located in the south of France and encompasses Languedoc and Roussillon. It is the largest Vin de Pays region, accounting for 70% of Vin de Pays wine production.
In 1995 Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A., maker of the world-renowned Château Mouton Rothschild, expanded beyond its traditional châteaux-based wine production into the varietal-based wine market. It now offers eight varietal wines from the Pays D'Oc. The Pinot Noir in this family of wines is the perfect party wine--tasty and inexpensive. It's a good bet the other Rothschild Pays D'Oc wines are good buys as well.