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France_Loire_Cotes du Forez

Another quirky Gamay-based wine region in the Loire Valley near the hills of Lyon in eastern France. The Cotes du Forez was only granted AOC status in 2000.  

It is actually closer to Burgundy than the Loire proper but the wines actually taste more like Cote Roannaise, which is another early-drinking Loire Gamay appellation. The soils are granitic with some volcanic areas, which favors the Gamay grape, which is the only permitted varietal. Most of the vineyards are at or around 350 meters above sea level. 

Big co-operatives dominate the region and little if any is exported into the United States, but there are some small estates making some interesting wine.  I have never tasted one so my recommendations will be academic at best. 

The wines are in the $15 dollar range.

Notable Recent Vintages: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005

Top Producers (in no particular order) include:
  • Domaine Verdier-Logel
  • Gilles Bonnefoy