July 13, 2005

Le Jaja de Jau 2004 Vin de Pays d'Oc Grenache-Syrah

(Imported by Pasternak Wine Imports, Greenwich, CT; about $9)

“Jaja” is French slang for inexpensive, easy-to-drink wine, the sort you might find by the carafe at a bistro, or at a party. And since Bastille Day—the biggest French party of the year—is tomorrow, you might want to stock up. There’s lots of jaja out there, but the Jaja of Jau happens to be from the Château de Jau, an estate bathed in the reflected light off the nearby Mediterranean, in the foothills of the French Pyrennes. It’s run by Estelle Dauré, who also runs a restaurant on the premises serving up solid regional food—things like chunky country pâtés (we’d call them meatloaves) and grilled meat (think burgers). And the wines she makes go with them, from light, crisp whites to a juicy rosé, to this frisky, spicy, cherry-scented red. They are the apex of jaja: good, and cheap.

This article originally appeared in the Denver Post.

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