Tag Archives: tasting

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (rosé)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (rosé)
Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (rosé)

12.5% vol.

Purplish pink, very bright color, pale medium rim, no legs.

Nose : green, fruity, strawberry, raspberry, almost Haribo candy.

Mouth : green, acid, less taste than the nose was suggesting. A bit of green strawberry but not much taste, not very fruity actually. The nose was more fruity than the mouth. Not unpleasant but not very tasty. A slight bitterness at the end of mouth.

Refreshing but that’s about it.

Actually I prefer the red one this year (2020).

After tasting I paired it with some green cabbage that I sautéed then cooked further with pepper, nutmeg and beer.

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (rosé)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (red)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (red)

On Thursday, November 19, le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé, in red and rosé again.

First up, the red version (the classic one) : the Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020. 13% vol.

Deep red, very dark with purple pink hues. Wide dark pink rim. Medium regular legs.

Nose : red fruit, fruit powder, banana, strawberry raspberry and blackberry. Yeasts like in a fresh baked brioche. The fruit notes are on the candy « chemical » notes of the respective fruits. A strong banana scent as a finale.

In mouth : the first impression is « actually pleasant ». Intense banana taste (the candy notes of the banana like in the Haribo candy), red fruit also, slightly acid and almost sweet at the same time, with yeast and brioche notes in middle mouth. But all in all the dominent note is « chemical candy banana » on a slightly green side too.

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (red)

Unexpectedly pleasant in spite of the heavy banana tonality. I do quite enjoy it this year (this year of all years, but after all if at least the Beaujolais Nouveau is a good news among all these bad news…)

I didn’t cool it as they advised on the label but I had it at room temperature. I might put it in the fridge for a bit for tomorrow when I drink the rest of the bottle or if I buy another bottle to see if it does improve it further.

That being said you have to drink this wine quickly, I wouldn’t advise to keep it after Christmas or even after mid of December. Only in 2018 when it was exceptional and on another level of quality did we drink it from the day it was out, on the 3rd Thursday of November all through December and even up to the beginning of January. The quality was so high that it held up (from all of the several brands I tried that year : you can read my reviews of 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau here) https://wineinamerica.wordpress.com/?s=beaujolais+nouveau+2018 . This year I wouldn’t keep it nor drink it too much into December. I might buy another bottle for the fun to drink these coming days. My son had a glass while he was cooking lunch today and he enjoyed it too.

Next I’ll try the rosé version, before going back to the store and buy another bottle of this red and, if I like it too,  I’ll buy another bottle of each, to drink quickly.

I paired it with fresh black pepper tagliatelle served with tomato and bell pepper sauce.

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (red and rosé)

Untied Brewing Company Untied Cares India Pale Ale

Untied Brewing Company Untied Cares India Pale Ale

Another IPA from my local and favorite brewery, Untied Brewing Company. This one was a special release back in June 2020 at half price to honor the communities struggling and fighting with the pandemic, just to say they care. As a nod they made up the acronym CARES with the initials of the hops they used to brew this very beer : American IPA made with Columbus, African Queen, Rakau, Ekuanot, and Simcoe hops.

Untied Brewing Company Untied Cares India Pale Ale

6.8% vol.

Deep yellow with a thin whitish foam. Very cloudy.

Nose : flowery, fruity, (yellow fruits) and wheat / oats (cereal notes)

In mouth : bitter, oat, wheat, cereals, a hint of lemon/grapefruit and some yellow fruits. A bit cooked and caramelized as an after taste.

Very enjoyable and refreshing.

Untied Brewing Company Untied Cares India Pale Ale

Vinho Regional Lisboa Lab Rosé Portugal 2019

Vinho Regional Lisboa Lab Rosé Portugal 2019

Yet another wine from Portugal, a rosé this time as we take advantage of the last warm days in the season in New Jersey (in October at the time of tasting). This one is IG Lisboa appellation. Screw cap and 12.5% vol. They describe it as a rosé medium dry wine on the label. Price was around $8 at my usual wine joint Stirling Fine Wines in New Jersey.

Pale salmon pink with orange hues which show on the photos even though I tamed down the colors that were too flashy when I post processed the photos. Wide big rim, no legs, fizzy.

Vinho Regional Lisboa Lab Rosé Portugal 2019

Nose : very fruity, strawberry, powdery.

The mouth is medium dry indeed but not sweet (fortunately for me because I don’t fancy that much sweeter wines). Strawberry, a bit on the green side, then raspberry and cherry. A slight bitterness then ripe cherry again (almost jam).

Very simple and very good, enjoyable and pleasant. Lollipop in rather long after mouth.

Vinho Regional Lisboa Lab Rosé Portugal 2019

Valdepenas La Cornada Tempranillo Crianza 2015 – Spain

Valdepenas La Cornada Tempranillo Crianza 2015 – Spain

Red wine 13% vol.

This wine is an Aldi exclusive in the US. Depending on the state it might not even be available at all the Aldi stores wether if they have the license to sell wine and alcohol or not. In New Jersey it’s a challenge, usually only a couple of stores have the ability to sell wine so I would have to travel all over the state. Fortunately a good friend of mine was traveling to Ohio to visit family last year 2019 and she brought me back some bottles, this one was part of them. I had read about this wine on the Reverse Wine Snob blog and I wanted to try it specially for the price, just under 5 dollars. Here again it depends on the state and the taxes, my friend told me it was a little bit more than that but still very affordable.

I tried it during this summer 2020, in my Le Deux glasses.

Valdepenas La Cornada Tempranillo Crianza 2015 – Spain

Red brownish, not very intense nor dark, with a thin lighter rim, a lot of long legs.

Nose : a bit closed, (fermé) needs some air time to open up. Leather, varnish, not a very strong nose. I decided to taste it again the day after to give it some time to air.

In mouth : clearly some dark cherry, blackberry, some tannins and leather. Round and smooth for the tannins that are neither aggressive nor bitter and the fruits are somehow subdued and not blasting which is good.

A bit of faint spices but discreet in the middle and after mouth.

A bit short lived but very pleasant as it is very different from Bordeaux types and California or Washington State wines I have been drinking those past years.

Also very different from the Douro Portuguese wines I also drink.

Valdepenas La Cornada Tempranillo Crianza 2015 – Spain

All in all a pleasant wine and for that price nothing can go wrong.

After a couple of minutes of airtime in the glass, the spices come in and the warmth of alcohol/ spices, more spices than alcohol though.

Leather and brown notes as a finale, a bit short lived in mouth.

Untied Brewing Company Data Determines Dates India Pale Ale

Untied Brewing Company Data Determines Dates India Pale Ale

Yet another IPA from my local and favorite brewery, Untied Brewing Company.

This one is a nod to our governor Phil Murphy, governor of New Jersey during this Covid-19 pandemic. « Data determines dates » has been one of his catch phrases during the spring months when he was asked which parts of our regular lives was going to re-open in New Jersey and when.  He would answer «  Data determines dates », meaning that scientific data such as transmission rate and hospitalization trends would determine which restrictions would be loosened in New Jersey and when they would be. My local brewery decided to make a little nod at the governor, naming one of their new late spring IPAs with this catch phrase. The governor heard of it and gave « his stamp of approval » of course. We have to keep some humor in the situation and both the brewery and the governor did. All and all that provided us another excellent IPA from Untied Brewing Company.

As a side story, I kept a couple of the empty cans to open them, flatten them and frame one or two, frame that I will put on my walls as a memorabilia of this crazy year of 2020.

New England style India Pale Ale, 6.8% vol.

Untied Brewing Company Data Determines Dates India Pale Ale

Cloudy, pale yellow with thick whitish foam.

Nose : citrusy, yellow fruits, tropical fruits.

In mouth : apricot, yellow fruit and some flowers too. Mango, tropical fruits, some orange peel, some bitterness and oat / wheat. Some dark caramel, bitter caramel, as an after taste.

Just excellent !

A strong and robust beer, I paired it with Thai food after the tasting.

Untied Brewing Company Data Determines Dates India Pale Ale

Côtes de Provence Rosé Fleurs de Prairie 2017

Last year during my summer stay at my parents’s in the French Riviera, for our summer rosé line up I bought this Côtes de Provence Fleurs de Prairie 2017 at the supermarket Intermarché, just because I had bought the very same one and same vintage just before leaving in spring 2019, and not had the time to taste it.

So we tasted it among others during the summer of 2019. I still had my bottle at home in New Jersey and recently I found it again in my wine rack and decided to revisit it. I had the same experience and found the same notes which is reassuring.

Tasting from summer 2019 from the bottle bought at Intermarché in France. I don’t remember the price but it was on the higher end for a rosé, I believe above 10 euros, I would say around 10 to 12 euros.

It’s a Côtes de Provence appellation, 2017 vintage, 13% vol. Regular cork. The bottle is embossed with wild prairie flowers (from the name, fleurs de prairie) and the shape is beautiful as well as the slender neck.

Pale pink, very nice color, pastel pink.

Nose : red fruit, raspberry, strawberry, a bit green. 

In mouth it’s a bit fizzy at first then it disappears. Green notes then mineral, bitter in the end. Not my favorite of all the rosés we tried. I have had better, specially for the price (high end for that type of wine).

Tasting from this September 2020 from the bottle bought last year in New Jersey at my usual favorite wine store, Stirling Fine Wines.

Same vintage 2017, same 13% vol and exactly same embossed beautiful bottle.

Pale salmon with copper hue, small translucent rim, no legs.

Nose is fruity, lemon, green. Fruits are on the green side.

In mouth it’s fizzy (perlant), slightly acid, tangy, not very tasty, on the green side, slightly bitter in the end. Not fruity (anymore ?  though we didn’t really find it fruity last year neither, for that very same vintage).

After warming up a little bit in the glass, a taste of green berries, mainly green strawberries, Bitter and a bit of grapefruit. Refreshing though.

In New Jersey too, it’s on the pricey side, around $16. I have had way better for less expensive, in this very Côtes de Provence appellation, even in the US with import taxes.

After that tasting I paired it with cresto de gallo fresh pasta with pesto sauce and parmesan cheese.

Untied Brewing single and two-hop India Pale Ales : A Hop That Needs No Introduction series

Hop comparison tasting

These past weeks my favorite local brewery, Untied Brewing Company, started to produce single and two-hop IPAs. I immediately bought them in order to make a tasting — for educational purposes. What better way to see the impact of one hop on the taste and rendering of a beer than trying it as single hopped then double hopped with the 2 very hops used in the singles ?

They started with two of the most commonly used hops in IPAs, Citra and Mosaic (which are trademarks for 2 popular hops developed by the Hop Breeding Company). Citra is supposed to induce citrus (hence the name) and tropical fruit notes to the beer. Mosaic some more floral earth and resin notes to the beer.

So one of these past evenings, we set up to have a proper comparison tasting with my son.

Hop comparison tasting

3 IPAs respectively named :  A Hop That Needs No Introduction Citra,  A Hop That Needs No Introduction Mosaic and  A Hop That Needs No Introduction Citra & Mosaic. Those names are a mouthful on their own, so for easier reading I will refer to those beers by their hop name, Citra, Mosaic and Citra & Mosaic.

On the back label, they give some hints of what to expect. We read those after tasting so we were not influenced. As per the label, Citra only hopped beer should have notes of peach, passionfruit, guava, lychee, lime and gooseberry. The Mosaic one, notes of citrus, mango, berries, peach, lime and pine. The Citra & Mosaic, notes of orange, mango, berries, peach and passionfruit.

All are IPAs, 7.1% vol.

Here is what we found when my son and I did our own comparison tasting (for educational purposes only of course… but as my son requested it, we’ll get to finish the one we liked the most). He finished the one he liked the most which was the same as mine, I finished the other ones — I don’t like wasting food or drink, nor pretty anything for that matter.

Citra beer :deep yellow, cloudy with a beige medium foam. Tasting notes (nose and mouth altogether) : classic IPA, fruity, tropical fruit, flowery too, peach.

Mosaic beer :same color and aspect.  Tasting notes : bitter and smoky, pumpkin (my son) and pine (resin) for both of us. Woody, smoky, the smoky part of wood. But what was really striking and the main taste for us, was the resin, pine resin taste, like when kids you chew these pine resin gums from the tree. Very strong resin taste. Not my favorite to have a beer tasting mainly that. My son didn’t like it at all (we have 7 half liter cans left…) Actually when having it with food, it drinks better than just by itself. (I finished it with my dinner). I think it will benefit of some more robust autumn or winter meals which will counterbalance and mellow the strong resin taste.

Citra & Mosaic beer : same color and more cloudy than the 2 previous ones. Tasting notes : medium bitterness, more bitter than the Citra beer and less than the Mosaic beer. It really tastes like a mix of the 2, which was to be expected of course. Less fruity than the Citra and less woody than the Mosaic. Pine resin also as a main taste and finale but less strong than in the Mosaic only one.

On this series, the one we enjoyed the most and we liked was the Citra one. The resin heavy notes of the Mosaic only threw us off I must admit (strong and earthy notes that we didn’t expect in a beer, let alone an IPA). And the still strong resin on the Citra & Mosaic didn’t appeal to us as the usual IPAs we consume (which are brews using many hops).

All the art of the brewmaster is to bring the wanted notes and mellow / melt them as a whole in a beer that calls 4 or 5 hops in it. Mosaic hop is very common, I am sure it was present in most of the IPAs I have tasted but I never noticed the pine resin as such. I am sure it was a backbone of other tastes and participated to the beer structure to make an ultimate complete experience. Those don’t need to be noticed (or noticeable) to be nevertheless necessary to a brew and give the final rounded and mellowed product that drinkers will enjoy.

Hop comparison tasting

Washington State Rosé Band of Roses 2019

Washington State Rosé Band of Roses 2019

Charles Smith Winemaker. Same winemaker as the Cs wine of substance

12.5% vol. Screw cap. Around $11.

I tasted it in my Le Deux glass.

Washington State Rosé Band of Roses 2019

Very pale orange yellowy salmon color with paler large rim, no legs.

Nose is fruity and fresh. Red fruits, strawberry, citrus, green. Very pleasant smell. The main scent after swirling several times is strawberry, on the green side.

In mouth : crisp and clean, very refreshing, fruity and a bit acid (pleasantly). A tad fizzy in mouth but it doesn’t show in the glass. Fruity, green strawberry, grapefruit and some powder like in a perfume, a face powder for make-up. A slight bitterness at the end.

All in all a very pleasant and refreshing wine. Definitely a wine to have again and to stock as a classic for summer.

After the tasting I paired it with some homemade classic ratatouille made with vegetables from local farms. 

Einstok Icelandic Lime and Juniper Pils

Einstok Icelandic Lime and Juniper Pils

The last of Einstok’s creation for the summer season is a flavored beer. As it is flavored with lime and juniper (juniper as in gin, the spirit) I figured it would be something that my son and I might like, so I decided to buy a pack and taste it. They released it around the 8th of July, so off I went on a quest at my favorite liquor store, Stirling Fine Wines, where I found it ready for me to try it.

This is the last post, as of now, of all the Einstok tasting series that can be found in my blog here. I have tasted their whole range of beers, 6 in total plus this one, and except for the berry one because I am bot a big fan of the red berry flavored type of beers.

Einstok Icelandic Lime and Juniper Pils

It’s very light in alcohol content, 4.8% vol.

Their main goal was to have a classic cocktail inspired flavor, such as a gin fizz or the likes, with lime instead of lemon.

Einstok Icelandic Lime and Juniper Pils

Yellow in glass with medium white foam.

Nose : the main scent is lemon, a little bit like the Leinenkugel’s summer shandy (which is lemon based).

In mouth it’s a bit different from this lemon only scent : we can feel a slight bitterness from the lime peel, some tart lime and lemon, also a taste of beer (a classic blond beer, pilsner taste, thus the name) like a shandy (not the French panaché though). A shandy but not sweet and a bit bitter. Very pleasant.

As a side note : I could not really taste the juniper (it’s actually brewed with juniper berries ) though it could be mixed and melted with the other flavors.

It’s more bitter and more lime than the Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy which itself is more lemon.

All in all very pleasant, a nice summer drink when you seek some tasty refreshment without too much alcohol content.