Laroche’s top Pays d’Oc cuvée isn’t yet available in the U.S., but is worth a try if you stumble across a bottle while traveling. This blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre boasts powerful plum, blackberry and vanilla flavors accented by a bit of tobacco on the finish.
Michel Laroche is a big man in Chablis. But he has also set up a winery near Béziers, at the Domaine la Chevalière, where he makes Vin de Pays d’Oc. This Syrah reveals how “New World” Languedoc wines can be. Aged in a mix of French and American oak, it is deep purple in color, with sweet fruit, strawberry flavors and layers of vanilla. The fruit is superripe, ready…
Fruity, slightly gummy aromas signal black raspberry, plum and cherry. Indeed, there’s plenty of berry fruit on the palate, that and some pepper. The finish is lively and tasty, with hints of coffee and mocha toward the very end.
Michel Laroche has been branching out of Chablis in recent years and his southern French effort has some chlorine notes along with aromas of mint and sweet wood. The power is up there, but there isn’t suppleness to match. The palate pulsates while the finish is dark and sharp, with a burnt flavor.