If you are looking for a wine subscription box where all of the wines are hand picked by an expert, Le Petit Ballon is the box for you. Each month, they will send you a selection of French wines which have been specially chosen by the famed Jean-Michel Deluc, who has previously worked as the head sommelier at the Ritz Hotel in London. Jean-Michel certainly knows a thing or two about wines, so you’re guaranteed to receive top quality wines every time!
Le Petit Ballon send out their wines via courier to the UK and the boxes have been designed to be ‘shockproof’ to ensure safe arrival. I’ve been receiving the boxes to review for several months now and every one has arrived in perfect condition.
Alongside your wines, you’ll also receive a copy of The Gazette, Le Petit Ballon‘s monthly magazine full of interesting wine related articles and features, as well as the Tasting Notes which will describe how best to taste your wines like a proper wine connoisseur.
August’s box has a Wine Cocktails theme and I received one bottle of white and one bottle of red as part of their Grape Expectations subscription.
8 Place du Marché 2015 – IGP Côtes de Gascogne (750ml, 12%)
Semi-sweet white wines always make fantastic summer cocktails and this bottle from 8 Place du Marché has been created by a group of eight friends who are all wine lovers based in the Côtes de Gascogne. Their main aim is to make wines that are fun, fruity and easy to drink which is exactly what their 2015 bottle is!
This wine is made from a blend of Gros and Petit Manseng grapes which gives it a beautiful golden honey colour with a silver sheen. It has a very sweet and fruity aroma and it tastes wonderfully fresh and fruity with notes of White Fruits, Candied Citrus Fruits and Sweet English Tea. As mentioned earlier, it works well in a cocktail but is also incredibly pleasant to drink on its own, and pairs nicely with a range of dishes including Duck, Goat’s Cheese, Seafood and Apple Pie. A lovely semi-sweet summer wine!
Château Val Joanis Les Merises 2015 – AOP Lubéron (750ml, 14%)
A special wine from the Lubéron region, this red comes from the estate of the Château Val Joanis, who cultivate their grapes in some of the most beautiful vineyards in all of France (so much so that the Ministry of Culture has even officially classified them as a ‘remarkable garden’). With such great care for the environment, it’s no surprise that this wine has such a high-quality taste to it thanks to an impeccable blend of mature Syrah and Grenache grapes.
In the glass, this red has a bright ruby colour that also looks dense and velvety with its rich violet highlights. It has an equally impressive aroma that’s fruity and complex, and taste-wise it’s very much the same with strong notes of Black Fruits, Cherry, Smoke, Chocolate, Pepper and Licorice. It’s a strong red wine with a lovely smooth and velvety texture, coupled with a slightly spicy aftertaste – quite different to what I usually drink but I like it a lot! This wine goes well with Grilled Red and White Meats, Game, Stuffed Zucchini and a classic French Cheese plate.