I was very lucky to have the opportunity to participate in a live tasting event hosted by Discover Beaujolais on Twitter. Four very different bottles of Beaujolais arrived at my door last week and yesterday we had the chance to taste them and tweet about them. Beaujolais has long been the underdog of French wines, looked down upon by many wine snobs, and viewed as a “less serious” wine. After tasting all 4 wines, I can honestly say that while I love a great, expensive Burgundy, I really enjoyed the Beaujolais. For under $20, each bottle delivered a wonderful wine that was easy to sip and perfect for summer BBQ’s.
The first wine we sipped was a Beaujolais Blanc from Jean-Paul Brun. This Beaujolais Blanc is made from the Chardonnay grape and was a great way to start the tasting. (reviews of the other 3 bottles to follow next week)
About the Wine- From the Winery
Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc is 100% Chardonnay from France. It has 12% alcohol and retails for $15.97. For more information see www.LouisDressner.com
Now The Fun Part- Tasting the Wine
The Beaujolais Blanc has a crisp, fruity nose. This light-bodied wine has tastes of pear, apple, and citrus that combine with nice mineral notes. It’s not complex but it is so easy to sip and perfect for a warm summer afternoon. Definitely give this wonderfully balanced Beaujolais Blanc from Jean-Paul Brun a try and let me know what you think! Cheers and enjoy the weekend!
My Wine Rating- B
Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine would go perfectly with grilled seafood including tuna and sea bass.
*This wine was provided to me as a sample for the purpose of participating in a live tasting event
Chateau Coupe Roses is an estate in the Minervios appellation in France with almost 100 acres of vineyards. This family run winery takes pride in the wines they produce and are true to traditional winemaking methods. There are no additives to the wine and minimal intervention in the winemaking process. The 2011 Chateau Coupe Roses Minervois La Bastide is a blend of predominantly Carignan and Grenache with a tad of Syrah and it’s well worth sipping.
Pours a deep ruby color in the glass with aromas of must and rich berries. The palate is earthy and there are layers of tar, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and black pepper with floral nuances. Somewhat reminiscent of a Bordeaux…dirty and delicious! ($14)
My Wine Rating – B+
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with grilled swordfish, burgers, or lamb.
Malbec from France? Well, actually Malbec originates from France (not from Argentina as many think) and has traditionally been blended with other varietals. Recently, it seems as though I have been seeing a few 100% Malbec wines from France on the shelves of local wine stores. Over the weekend I uncorked a bottle of Rigal “The Original” Malbec 2010. After the first sip, I realized that it was remarkably different from most of the Argentinean Malbec I have tried.
The wine is much lighter and more elegant than the Malbec generally produced in Argentina. An overall earthy palate with tastes of raspberries, strawberries, plums, and a hint of spice. A straight-forward, easy sipping wine. I would suggest chilling slightly before pouring and keeping an open mind because this is not the Malbec you were probably expecting! (B-, $10, 13%)
If you never pick up a wine or two from Languedoc, you might be missing out. The South of France offers some incredible wines for very reasonable prices. I just had the chance to try Domaine Sainte Eugenie Corbières 2010. It is a delicious blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah that retails for under $13.
This balanced wine is loaded with tastes of bright, red fruit. Interwoven with the cherries, cranberries, and raspberries are tastes of anise and sweet spices. Pair with roasted duck or burgers and you can’t go wrong! (B, 13.5%)
The more wine I drink, the more challenging it becomes to find a delicious, well-made wine at a great price. Vintage after vintage, Les Heretiques Pays d’Herault is a wine that is interesting and made with integrity. This vintage is a blend of 90% old vine Carignan and 10% Syrah made in the Languedoc-Rousillon region of France. It is relatively easy to find in boutique wine shops and retails at a staggeringly low price of $11.
Les Heretiques Pays d’Herault awakens your palate with fresh flavors of berries, plums, and violets. It is well-balanced and with a relatively long finish. The most striking thing about this wine is its powerful minerality; it is not a characteristic that would normally be found in a wine at this price point. Such a great value…I think I will pour myself a glass now!