In the wake of the Pinot Noir scandal of the Aude where fake pinot was sent to Gallo, it is interesting to come across a Pinot which is definitely 100%, even if there is no clue to this on the label.
The Pinot in question comes from Pierre Cros in Badens, a staunch defender of terroir who makes wine from both traditional Languedoc varieties and newcomers. Labelled as a mere Vin de Table (hence no grape variety or vintage allowed on the label) this is a medium ruby black colour. Very dark but not opaque. Very spicy on the nose - almost cigar box and cloves ) with delicate plum and rose aromas. Full bodied on the palate (14.5%) with oodles of very ripe, creamy plum fruit with hints of spice - cloves again. The tannins are very ripe and smooth and the oak is well integrated. Good long finish. Only criticism is that the alcohol is a touch high for my tastes. An opulent Pinot Noir with very smooth tannins. From memory, around 18€ a bottle so not cheap, but good Pinot never is.
Sometimes amiable, sometimes enigmatic, ex-rugbyplayer Pierre is perhaps best known for his other Vin de table, Mal Aimés, made from traditional Languedoc varieties of Aramon, Alicante, Carignan and Picquepoul Noir. Historically, these varieties were massively overcropped and the resulting wines were poor quality. Aramon and Alicante in particular have been derided as poor quality and most have been grubbed up. While they may not be noble varieties and capable of greatness, Pierre proves that these 'unloved' grapes can produce a very pleasant, smoothly fruity red when the vines are old and yields are kept low.
If you can, visit Domaine Cros in Badens which is about 15 minutes from Carcassonne. His cave is right in the centre of the village and well signposted.