Jeanjean: Merlot 2012, Pay d'Oc, Languedoc, France
What may look like a deliberate campaign against the Jeanjean wine empire of southern France has no system, nor is it deliberately orchestrated by me. The preoccupation with the company is the result of an omnipresence of its wines, at least on the Mediterranean coast, especially in the tourist sector, where supply and demand dominate business during the short summer months. Jeanjean's wineries have the wine you are looking for in all categories. The spectrum ranges from "vin haut de gamme" to the simple "vin de table" which is now called "vin de France". There are also niches such as organic wines or "natural wines", just as little as pronounced "fashionable wines", such as these: a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot, in a fashionably curved bottle, costing around 5 euros, also available in the small "supermarket" on the beach, where "Résidences" are lined up with "Résidences" (holiday residences).
Here I reached for the two wines, with the comment (though in German) "Does it have to be?" Yes, it apparently has to be. Fashion trends don't stop there, even where swimwear dominates at best. Otherwise, when on holiday by the sea, one pretends to be cool, casual, not at all fashion-conscious. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are not grape varieties in the AOC (pardon AOP) area of the Languedoc. So, the two bottles are "Pay d'Oc" wines, at least, they bear a vintage designation.
As a Bordeaux lover, I have nothing, but nothing, against Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. But here, where there are so many good, typical, characterful wines from local grape varieties, there is still a need for wines (above all in the low-price segment) that are just one thing, just pressed from Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, - they say - they are wines. They rather remind me of a Coca Cola label, not in taste, but rather in uniform dress.
I have seldom drunk such meaningless wines. They are not bad, they have no fault, no unpleasant tannins, no disturbing aromas, no disharmony... They just show nothing, no character, no personality, they have no expression and no profile. Is that necessary? Where so many holidaymakers have travelled here to experience a different region, to experience the sea, the sun, the mountains in the hinterland, the landscape and, and, and..., the term "terroir" should actually also take its place in wine. And this is exactly what it does not do. Coca-wines I say (everywhere in the world almost the same), and exactly this does not have to be!