When one sees that you write a wine blog, they automatically presume that you are a wine snob and that you will tend to only write about the finest wines that are out on the market. On the contrary, I do not consider myself a wine snob, though through the years I have developed a taste and appreciation for certain wines, over others. One must learn by tasting and discovering. In my early years I had the good fortune to have some great wines, and I had some table wines. Table wines are some times shunned as having no character or nuance, but if you don’t try them, how will you be able to appreciate the finer wines for what they are. If you have worn an inexpensive shoe and then tried a handcrafted shoe, your feet will tell you the difference. I feel the same is true about wine, but you do have to start somewhere.
I remember when I first started to seriously think about wine, France was the center of the universe at the time, there were whispers about California and other wine producing areas, but France was the place. Naturally there were a lot of French wines that were offered in real wine shops, from the first growths to table wines. I decided that I must try some of the table wines in my pursuit of knowledge and in the hopes of finding some wines that were affordable for a student, back in my teens and early twenties. I had already learned about the Appellation Controlee markings on a label of wine, and that is was a good starting point, after all even Chateau Lafitte-Rothschild says Appellation Pauillac Controlee. Then I saw a different designation and I had to try some wines with this designation.
“Appellation D’Origine Simple” was a new designation to me, but then back then, almost everything was new to me and it aided in my self-studies of wine. One of the wines that I tried was Chateau de Brasse Estate Bottled 1972. While the estate bottled meant that the wine was made on the grounds, the grounds were more disguised. The proprietor of the estate lists Limoux, the Negociants is in the Gironde (Bordeaux), and Limoux is way Southeast of Bordeaux. I recall this wine to be a very unexciting bottle of Claret, which is what I anticipated it to be.
The other bottle that I tried with back then with the same designation, which translates to “Controlled Designation of Origin”, was Chateau La Francaise 1971. The proprietor was in Coursan, which is in the Languedoc-Rousillon district, while the Negociants was in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which is not close by. I remember buying this wine thinking that I had found an affordable Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but instead I had another light Claret. I tried researching both of these wines on the internet with out success to find out the varietals used, but to no avail. I have to admit, that I have not had any wines since, with this designation, and I am not sure if I have seen this designation for years.