Tag Archives: 2018

Vin de Pays du Var Rosé Papillon 2018

Vin de Pays du Var Rosé Papillon 2018

Vin de Pays du Var Rosé Papillon 2018

In the early days of autumn, while it was still warm and pleasant, I tasted this wine from the Var region in France, the rosé Papillon (which means butterfly in French). This wine is from Domaine Saint Mitre and it’s their Cuvée Papillon Rosé. Vintage 2018, screw cap, 13% vol.

50% Syrah, 30% Merlot, 20% Cinsault.

This one was (warmly) advised by the folks at my favorite wine joint, Stirling Fine Wines.

Vin de Pays du Var Rosé Papillon 2018

Vin de Pays du Var Rosé Papillon 2018

In glass it’s very pale pastel pink, no rim, no legs.

The nose is very fruity, strawberry and raspberry mainly, very pleasant. I could smell some citrus too and grass.

In mouth it’s a bit fizzy, citrus, very lemon and slightly grapefruit. It is also a bit herbal, raspberry and rose flower.

A slight bitterness in after mouth but refreshing and pleasant. Simply delicious ! Specially when considering it’s a lower appellation, being « only » a Vin de Pays.

After tasting I enjoyed it with pasta and stirred fried sweet peppers and onions.

As I mentioned it was advised by Stirling Fine Wines along with the Saint Mitre one (Côteaux Varois en Provence, slightly higher up in the appellation being an AOP), thanks to them, they know what they are talking about and what they are selling.

Vin de Pays du Var Rosé Papillon 2018

Vin de Pays du Var Rosé Papillon 2018

Alpes de Haute Provence Rosé French Escape 2018

Alpes de Haute Provence Rosé French Escape 2018

Alpes de Haute Provence Rosé French Escape 2018

Upon my return from France late August, I have been trying some other rosé wines I had bought back in July before leaving, while they were still available. September has been a hot month here in New Jersey, still with summer vibes so I had no issue trying and drinking those lighter « summer-like » rosés. There are other types of rosés such as Tavel or more locally Love Noir and Apothic that I feel like drinking out of season, all year round actually.

The first up after my return was a curiosity, Alpes de Haute Provence Rosé — I didn’t know they would make wine up there, in those lower mountains of the Alps (my backyard actually) and I had never heard of such an appellation. It’s an IGP only but still, IGP being a protected geographic indication, formerly Vin de Pays and not the well sought after higher quality AOP, protected origin appellation, formerly AOC, controlled origin appellation.

Alpes de Haute Provence Rosé French Escape 2018

Alpes de Haute Provence Rosé French Escape 2018

12.5% vol, screw cap.

Pale pink leaning towards orange, no rim and no legs on the glass. I could hear some fizziness and see some bubbles.

Nose : the nose was strange, unusual for a rosé, of the year furthermore (last year that is but the most current possible). The nose was earthy, mushroom (mushroom ?! ) along with some animal notes, fur and leather. You might expect those from an old red wine that has aged for years but not from a young wine, let alone a rosé. My first thought was a defect (not from the cork per se though because of the screw cap) so I let it air a bit but after w while I could still smell the same animal and mushroom notes. I smelled it again after being open one day and same thing. Those notes when in old wines usually evolve after airing them. 

Fortunately those notes were not there in mouth, none of them. The wine is fairly bitter with some grapefruit and citrus notes. It has a very bitter end of mouth. No animal notes and none of these fur / leather I was smelling which is reassuring. It’s not fizzy at all in mouth neither.

Apart from the bitter notes of grapefruit, the wine is not very tasty actually. It’s refreshing but nothing to write home about, just an OK wine. I should just use it as a cocktail base or a sangria to finish that bottle.

A couple of weeks later, when writing this review, I must admit I didn’t even bother using it as a cocktail or sangria base but I just used it for cooking, to tenderize some bell pepper instead of using water in the frying pan.  

That wine is the first little disappointment I have had since starting to write those blog reviews. I must also confess I didn’t buy it at my usual joint, where they actually try and taste the wine they carry and are very knowledgeable about them.

Alpes de Haute Provence Rosé French Escape 2018

Alpes de Haute Provence Rosé French Escape 2018

Côteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé The Palm by Whispering Angels 2018

The Palm rosé 2018

The Palm rosé 2018

Another Provence rosé, this time a Côteaux d’Aix en Provence (protected origin appellation). This one has had some heavy marketing since the end of March, everywhere. All the wine stores around do carry it and have it prominently in display. In spite of that I decided to try it when I saw it was a Côteaux d’Aix en Provence, not far from my home region (At first, with the name I thought it was another California Rosé).

Screw cap, 12.5% vol, around 13 dollars. A blend of syrah, grenache and cinsault made by the Chateau d’Esclans.

Their website : https://esclans.com

The Palm rosé 2018

The Palm rosé 2018

The Palm rosé 2018

The Palm rosé 2018

In the bottle, very pale pink leaning towards salmon, almost a « gris ».

Even way more pale in the glass, to the point of being closer to transparent than pink. Definitively a gris type of wine color.

Nose is flowery (fleuri), scents of rose flower and almost carnation, then red fruit like raspberry and mostly blueberry.

In mouth it’s characteristic of the Provence rosé wines, after all it’s a Côteaux d’Aix en Provence. Fruits, slight bitterness, very fresh. Mainly blueberry (like the nose) and a hint of licorice as it is quite frequent in the Provence rosés.

On second and third sips, still extremely fruity mainly blueberry, extremely blueberry actually, a slight acidity is present and noticeable but well balanced.

An explosion of blueberries, balanced with a nice acidity and firm licorice as an after mouth, that makes it fresh and easy drinking.

It is a really enjoyable wine, I am not disappointed and it is in line with all the Provence rosés we drink all summer long with my parents, when I visit them in the South of France, French Riviera (between Cannes and Antibes). If I can find a French version of this, it could as well be one of our go-to rosés.

For the people in France reading my blog, it might be a label and name made only for export in North America but you can contact them and ask for their Côteaux d’Aix en Provence.

Their French website : https://cavesdesclans.fr

I enjoyed it with pasta in sauce made of tuna, capers and light cream.

The Palm rosé 2018

The Palm rosé 2018

Côtes de Provence Rosé Fleur de Mer 2018

Côtes de Provence Rosé Fleur de Mer 2018

Côtes de Provence Rosé Fleur de Mer 2018

This is a Côtes de Provence rosé from les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu’Île de Saint-Tropez, my home region.

Their website : www.fleurdemerrose.com and also www.vignerons-saint-tropez.com

They had it on display at Stirling Fine Wines the other day and I figured I could try it as it comes from my home region, really a dash by car from Cannes where I was born.

Grenache, Cinsault. 12.5% vol.

The color is very pale, almost the color of white wine. My pictures don’t do justice to that very pale color though. Yellowy leaning to a pale pale pink orange. We could almost call it a gris. Very long and regular legs.

The nose is very scented and strongly perfumed. Strawberry at first, then redcurrant, after swirling the wine in the glass strawberry again, on the green side. Some red fruit mix almost like the Teisseire Grenadine syrup, then green grass, freshly cut grass and a hint of banana.
After smelling again and swirling one more time, the last final nose note is banana and a powder scent too (as a make-up powder).

Côtes de Provence Rosé Fleur de Mer 2018

Côtes de Provence Rosé Fleur de Mer 2018

In mouth a bit fizzy at first, very fresh and crisp then tastes of redcurrant and strawberry fruits, a hint of peach and the banana I was smelling. Nothing agressive, all the flavors are quite balanced and subtle, almost subdued and mellowed (fondus).

Definitely the major taste is banana but not in an agressive way, rather in an extremely pleasant way. I wasn’t expecting such a taste from this type of wine but rather some usual licorice taste which is actually absent from this one.

It has a refreshing sweet taste but the wine is sweet per se : the taste feels sweet but the acidity is there too, mixed and mellowed with all the flavors and sugar. An extremely well balanced wine, it is a notch above the usual Côtes de Provence rosés we drink during my summer days in France. Even if there are good ones, this one is above the lot and next level.

The price is a notch above my usual range for rosés, around 15 / 17 dollars but this was totally worth it. Also this is a French wine and import taxes are usually high, specially on French wines which are always twice the price we find in France for the same wine, even with Stirling Fine Wines reasonable prices or special sales.

This is an excellent Côtes de Provence rosé and an excellent wine period. A delicate and elegant wine, Côtes de Provence rosé at its best and above.

Côtes de Provence Rosé Fleur de Mer 2018

Côtes de Provence Rosé Fleur de Mer 2018

Beaujolais Nouveau 2018 round-up

This is the first year I sample and drink that many different Beaujolais Nouveau bottles. Usually I sample one or two and that’s enough. I buy one or two bottles in all and most of the time I don’t even finish them but rather use them for cooking (Bolognese sauce).

But this year it’s the first time in a long time that the Beaujolais Nouveau is good —furthermore excellent for some. In short very pleasant in all cases — enjoyable. In addition to that, for the first year there was this rosé version which was a real treat and hopefully a real success among the Beaujolais Nouveau (and wine in general) drinkers. I wish to have it again next year.

I didn’t think it would be so great when I thought of tasting and posting my first entry about the Beaujolais Nouveau on this blog and I certainly didn’t envision that I would post so many of them.

But that’s what happened because the Beaujolais Nouveau was so good and enjoyable this year. Let’s hope it will be the case for the years to come also et ne boudons pas notre plaisir (let’s not deny ourselves).

Beaujolais Nouveau Jambon Père et Fils 2018

Beaujolais Nouveau Jambon Père et Fils 2018

Beaujolais Nouveau Jambon Père et Fils 2018

It’s also a Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau. Red and 13% vol.

It’s the last of that long series of Beaujolais Nouveau I enjoyed (really enjoyed in the full sense of the word) this year. We shouldn’t go past Christmas or at least past December of the same year with the Beaujolais Nouveau, as it is a wine not ment at all for aging. I actually tasted and drank this last one at the very beginning of January as I had found it randomly at the local cheese and fresh pasta shop in Golfe-Juan, my parent’s town. For 5 Euros a bottle, it was impossible to pass.

Beaujolais Nouveau Jambon Père et Fils 2018

Beaujolais Nouveau Jambon Père et Fils 2018

In glass, it has a deep purple color leaning towards dark blue. Very fluid and liquid, no thickness and no legs on the glass walls.

The nose is redcurrant, red fruit jelly or cooked / stewed red fruit (compote). Mainly redcurrant, blackcurrant and blackberry, almost a good grape jelly (not the concord / methyl anthranilate chemical type).

In mouth, a taste of redcurrant jelly, a nice acidity and refreshing. The mouth is entirely redcurrant and redcurrant jelly. It is also a little fizzy.

In short this is an excellent wine ! Maybe the best of all the Beaujolais I tasted this year. No regret for this late and impulse buy, furthermore for such a good price.

We had 2 bottles of this wine that we enjoyed with our daily ordinary meals. 

Beaujolais Nouveau Jambon Père et Fils 2018

Beaujolais Nouveau Jambon Père et Fils 2018

Beaujolais Nouveau Le Beaujolais Nouveau non filtré 2018

Le Beaujolais Nouveau non filtré 2018

Le Beaujolais Nouveau non filtré 2018

It’s a Beaujolais Nouveau which is not filtered, from Collin-Bourisset. 12.5% vol.

The main appeal on trying yet another Beaujolais Nouveau from the supermarket in France, was the not filtered mention on the label (non filtré). That enough sounded promising and different from the regular other ones I had tried so far this year.

Le Beaujolais Nouveau non filtré 2018

Le Beaujolais Nouveau non filtré 2018

Very dark in the bottle, almost black.

In the glass the color is still very dark, what we call grenat in French (dark red). Very thick and greasy (gras) but no legs on the glass.

It has a very pleasant nose of freshly baked bread and yeast (in a good way). In short it smells like brioche (bun) because it is not filtered of course! When smelling the wine, it feels like entering in a bakery shop, a French boulangerie, which is rather pleasant.

In mouth it feels very thick and textured, almost as if I was eating something. It tastes like brioche again but those brioches that are very popular in the South of France, brioche à la fleur d’oranger (orange flower or neroli flavored buns).

Absolutely no red or yellow fruit taste, no blueberry no cherry, only this bakery brioche and orange flower tastes. 

A very pleasant and balanced wine with medium length and finish. It’s not too acid and it doesn’t feel like a young wine at all. Must drink it fast before all those beautiful favors vanish under the unfiltered yeast action.

We enjoyed it with French dry pork sausage that we call saucisson.

(This tasting took place mid of December 2018)

Le Beaujolais Nouveau non filtré 2018

Le Beaujolais Nouveau non filtré 2018