Tag Archives: France

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (rosé)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (rosé)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (rosé)

13% vol.

Pale salmon pink in glass with a slight purplish hue, very bright and translucent. No rim, no legs.

Nose : red fruit, strawberry, raspberry and blueberry, very fruity and pleasant nose. Crisp and clean smell.

After a couple of swirls, a last note of carnation flower.

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (rosé)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (rosé)

In mouth, a bit fizzy, very fruity with some citrus notes (grapefruit) in addition to the red fruits, then mainly raspberry. Very fresh and crisp in mouth. Less flavored than last year and a bit short lived in mouth. 

Some rose flower notes and a little bit earthy in the middle mouth too.

No specific flavor remains but a refreshing impression. It’s always pleasant to have a seasonal rosé just before the white season (snow I mean, which is supposed to appear as soon as tomorrow Sunday).

Drink fast though.

I had it with some gnocchis cooked in the oven with light cream and truffles.

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (red)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (red)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (red)

Today, November 21st, le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé, in red and rosé again.

First up the red version (the classic one) : the Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019. 13% vol.

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (red)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2019 (red)

Red purplish in glass, leaning towards blue. Very bright and almost translucent in spite of its deep and dark color. No rim, no legs.

Nose : fresh yeast, brioche, exactly like a freshly cooked brioche from the bakery. Then blackcurrant, blueberry, redcurrant, raspberry… and banana ! The finale reminds me of the scent of bubblegum.

In mouth : banana ! Banana at first, it feels like drinking some banana juice. Fruity but not acid this year, red fruit (blackcurrant, raspberry mainly) and some bubblegum also in the first impressions.

But definitely banana ! Though for the first time I enjoy it (the fact that it has a banana taste as per its usual « Beaujolais Nouveau taste » — except for last year  ). I enjoy it even though the banana taste is prominent, curiously it doesn’t feel « too much ».

The middle mouth is definitely brioche. Short in mouth, which is not unexpected for a wine that young.

A pleasant surprise ! I wasn’t expecting much of it because last year it was very good for the first time in years or maybe decades. I was ready  to be back to the average (most of the time less than average) wine we were used to see over and over again. I wasn’t certainly expecting this year to be as good as last year. I was proved wrong to my delight, it is actually very good, again. But also very different in taste (last year none of the many Beaujolais Nouveaux from various wineries I tried, tasted banana). And definitely drinkable (back in the average or less than average years, I would use the rest of the bottle for cooking : not this year, not last year).

In short : fruity, banana and bubble gum and very enjoyable : well done !

After tasting I had it with some leftover homemade mac and cheese my daughter had made for her work pre-Thanksgiving party.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2019

Buying the Beaujolais Nouveau 2019 : I was the first, I opened the carton (upper left we can see the carton box I had opened)

Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé Domaine Saint Mitre 2018

Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé Domaine Saint Mitre 2018

Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé Domaine Saint Mitre 2018

Another wine from Domaine Saint Mitre and it’s their Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé, an AOP so an upgrade from the Papillon one.

Vintage 2018, screw cap, 13% vol.

35% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 5% Rolle.

The other wine from Saint Mitre that I bought the same day as the Papillon from my usual joint, Stirling Fine Wines. Compared to the Papillon this one is an AOP, higher up in the classification.

Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé Domaine Saint Mitre 2018

Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé Domaine Saint Mitre 2018

Very pale, almost like a gris in the bottle.

Very pale pink, definitely a gris in the glass, nice wide rim, no legs.

Nose : strawberry, redcurrant and a hint of green grass. Very fruity nose, very pleasant.

In mouth it’s a bit fizzy, red fruit of course, green strawberry and a hint of banana when swallowing.

Green strawberry as the main red fruit, some green grass and grapefruit as well in the middle mouth.

Very dry and mineral in the after mouth, less fruity as finale : the last impression that remains is of a dry and mineral wine almost like a white wine. I could even taste some chalk in the after mouth.

Very pleasant but definitely different from the Papillon, with some mineral and green grass notes in common.

Even though I like it too, I prefer the Papillon one between the two, in spite of being of a lesser appellation.

Same as for the Papillon, this wine was warmly advised by Stirling Fine Wines.

I would pair it with fish or seafood, almost like I would pair a white wine.

Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé Domaine Saint Mitre 2018

Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé Domaine Saint Mitre 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

Côtes de Provence Rosé Aimé Roquesante 2018

Côtes de Provence Rosé Aimé Roquesante 2018

Côtes de Provence Rosé Aimé Roquesante 2018

In my series of rosé wines bought before leaving in August, the next one to taste was the Côtes de Provence Aimé Roquesante 2018. At least compared to the previous French Escape, it’s an upgrade, an actual appellation of origin, furthermore rather well known. What could go wrong ? So I had higher hopes than with the French Escape.

12.5% vol.

Côtes de Provence Rosé Aimé Roquesante 2018

Côtes de Provence Rosé Aimé Roquesante 2018

Pale orange pink in glass, no rim, no legs.

Nose : absolutely no nose. I have tried again and again, letting it warm up a bit, swirling it, let it sit a bit, air a bit : no nose, no scent at all.

A bit fizzy in mouth, some faint redcurrant taste, otherwise a bit of lemon. It tastes like lemon flavored water basically. Not unpleasant but might as well drink some water with a dash of lemon juice or a slice of lemon.

After taking sips and sips to try to find something, it really only feels like having some sparkling (faintly sparkling) water with a lemon slice.

No after mouth. Slight bitterness after several sips. I am fairly disappointed. It’s not bad but it has no taste at all, it doesn’t feel like a Côtes de Provence. Even the cheap non Côtes de Provence appellation but generic Provence region rosés are generally more tasty and better than that.

In conclusion, I didn’t drink any more of it nor finish the bottle and kept it for cooking.

My second disappointment in a row. Same thing, I didn’t buy it from my usual and trusty wine store (Stirling Fine Wines) : now I know better… 

Côtes de Provence Rosé Aimé Roquesante 2018

Côtes de Provence Rosé Aimé Roquesante 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

Tavel Trésor des Sables 2018

Tavel Trésor des Sables 2018

Tavel Trésor des Sables 2018

During my summers with my parents in the South of France, we don’t limit ourselves only to light and easy drinking rosés (most of the time that’s what we drink of course, due to summer meals and summer heat) but we also indulge in more serious wines. Tavel is the one I mean by « more serious ». This is not your refreshing rosé (vin de soif as we call all these light easy drinking rosés, meaning wines to drink when thirsty).

The Tavel wine is barely a rosé, neither in color nor in spirit. It’s called a rosé, classified as such (and the first rosé to receive an appellation — appellation of origin that is — in the early 20th century, a guarantee of higher quality in France) but in fact it’s not, it’s more than a simple rosé.

Yes it has a pink rosé color but way deeper than the regular rosé, it’s almost a pale red actually, even if it falls in the category of rosé wines. And in spirit it’s some serious wine that requires some serious food, something more than the grilled meat / salad type of meals we usually have during the summer season.

This past summer, I wanted to drink again some Tavel (we regularly have Tavel at one point in the summer) but this time from my favorite (absolute favorite) winery : this one is called a cave (a cellar) Les Vignerons de Tavel & Lirac, formerly La Cave des Vignerons de Tavel as it was called back in the day when I used to visit it, so the name stuck with me, I’ll always call it that way.

Their website : https://cave-tavel-lirac.fr  

They produce the Tavel wine I used to drink when I was living in France. In those days we would stop by this cave in the Rhone Valley and buy some cases. I remember the last summer commute we had in 2001 when we bought a fair amount of bottles — those actually moved with us to the USA. In 2002 our moving schedule during that last summer in France didn’t allow us to actually go there and buy some more bottles. Unfortunately because I really wanted badly to slide some cases in the carton boxes from the moving company…

In 2013, while traveling through France with my parents, we stopped by the cave (we even got lost and had to use the car GPS to put us back — partly — on track and in the end I just recognized the facility when passing it on one of the roads we were scouting. We bought 3 cases at that time, one being the Cuvée Royale and 2 other ones. All excellent of course, the Cuvée Royale even more than excellent, of course too.

In 2014, at home in New Jersey, I found and opened the last bottle of Cuvée Royale that had moved with us in 2002 : it was a vintage 1999 ! I wrote about that experience in my writer’s blog (in French) that can be read here: https://michusa.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/tavel-la-cuvee-royale/

So I wanted to drink again those wines from Tavel from that precise winery, which is unfortunately a bit too far away from my parents’ home to make the trip : it’s a 3 hour trip, each way, roughly. Miracle of the Internet, we didn’t have to travel : this cave ships and for reasonable shipping costs. We ordered 3 cases with 3 different cuvées, 6 bottles each case, with one of them being the Cuvée Royale of course.

In this current review however, this is one of these other cuvées from les Vignerons de Tavel, one that I had never had before, under that name at least, called Trésor des Sables.

Tavel Trésor des Sables 2018

Tavel Trésor des Sables 2018

The vintage was 2018, it was also golden medal in the Orange wine contest in 2019 (Concours des Vins d’Orange — Orange being the city in the Rhone Valley). 14% vol.

Almost red in the bottle, ruby pink in the glass, very intense and deep pink leaning towards orange.

Nose is raspberry, redcurrant and of a full bodied wine (vineux).

In mouth, very fruity, a handful of fruit, raspberry being the major fruit. It almost feels like biting an actual raspberry, texture included. Slight bitterness in after mouth and more fruit: red fruit and almost a cherry lollipop taste in finale.

Excellent, as expected !

I am biased of course, I am biased. Tavel is my favorite wine (even though I don’t fancy that much the other Rhone Valley wines and also, generally speaking, I am more a red wine drinker even if I enjoy some rosés in season). And among the Tavel wine makers, this Cave des Vignerons de Tavel & Lirac is my favorite. And among their Tavel wines, the Cuvée Royale is my favorite of them all (review to come in this blog, we had it twice last summer).

I am biased said I, this wine brings back fond memories, I guess this is why this wine, as good as it is, actually ranks so high in my personal top wines : actually it ranks as first, among all the wines I love. I would be happy to have only this wine for the rest of my life, this is the one I would bring on a desert island if I were only allowed one. There are certainly better wines, more complex ones, in which you discover new tastes and nuances at every tasting, that you never end discovering in some ways. This is not one of those wines for sure. However this wine is about the memories. Memories of happy times, a happy period of my life. Memories make the wine also, and memories brought back by a certain wine, the Proust madeleine way, this is what drinking wine is all about, n’est-ce pas ?