Nov. 2, 2012 at 4:42 PM ET
While there is plenty of inexpensive wine out there, finding really distinctive wines for under $10 is often a challenge. And so, at a recent tasting involving 60 wines from a number of importers and distributors here in New York, I made a point of trying the few that were offered in this category, and one of them really stood out.
It was from France, where wines from the south and southwest have earned a well-deserved reputation for some of the world’s top values.
The wine I liked was Domaine de Pajot’s 2011 Côtes de Gascogne “Quatre Cépages,” an $8 bargain made from organic grapes in Gascony in the southwest, a region best known for Armagnac, the brandy. As the name suggests, the wine is a blend of four grapes — colombard and ugni-blanc, which are also used in Armagnac, as well as sauvignon blanc and gros-manseng.
The result is a racy and aromatic dry wine bursting with flavor and dominated by tastes of green apple and citrus. It was lovely on its own and will pair beautifully with fish and shellfish, smoked ham and fried chicken, among other foods. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and is made without oak.
Gascony is one of many relatively obscure areas in southern France from which interesting and delicious wine values can be found with a little effort, and Pajot’s Côtes de Gascogne is just the latest proof I have found of this. Imported by Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, New York.