Le Petit Ballon is a monthly subscription box that’s aimed at French wine lovers and their boxes would make a fantastic gift for anyone who appreciates the finer things in life! All of the wines are hand-picked by the famed sommelier Jean-Michel Deluc (who has previously worked as the head sommelier at the Ritz Hotel in London), so subscribers are able to savour some of the best quality wines that France has to offer for a very affordable price.
Inside your Le Petit Ballon, you can expect to receive two bottles of wine, Jean-Michel’s Tasting Notes and a copy of The Gazette, Le Petit Ballon‘s very own magazine that’s packed full of culture, food and of course wine related articles.
This month, I discovered a bottle of red and a bottle of white as part of their Grape Expectations subscription:-
Mongiron Castle – Bastide de Mongiron 2016 (13% vol)
Described by Jean-Michel as a ‘modern surprise from Bordeaux’, this fine bottle of red comes from Nérigean, the home of Chateau Mongiron, and it’s often referred to by the French as the land of legends. Famous for an enchanted cave and tales of the fairies that guard it, the real treasure for Le Petit Ballon subscribers are the exceptional vineyards that the region is revered for. Many of the wines here are produced in small quantities by family-run businesses, and this one is no exception with its local blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec grapes.
This 2016 vintage has a vibrant and dark purple-red colour in the glass which is accompanied by a complex and engaging aroma that’s full of fruity notes. Likewise, on the palate, it has an intensely fruity flavour that’s dominated by Dark Fruits and more subtle notes of Spices, Vanilla and a long Liquorice flavoured finish. Pairing well with Roast Lamb and Pork, cheese dishes such as Camembert and Brie, it’s a lovely red wine to serve at the table this Christmas.
Domaine de Pouilly Clos de la Condemine 2017 (13%)
To celebrate the festivities, Le Petit Ballon has included a very special white wine in this month’s box and they call it one of the greatest white wines of Mâconnais! 2017 was an exceptional year for winemaking in the Burgundy region and Domaine de Pouilly produced some of their best vintages here. Their vineyard has belonged in the same family for seven generations and today, Andrew and Vincent draw upon this wealth of knowledge to continue the family’s legacy on their 15 hectares.
So what makes this wine so special? From the golden and youthful colour in the glass to the fruity aroma, your senses are pleased with every opportunity! Tasting it was such a pleasure as it has a rich and sweet honey flavour that’s boosted by vibrant citrusy notes of Pear, Kiwi and Pineapple, whilst White Flowers, Chamomile and Verbena add balance and further freshness. Wonderfully refreshing, it goes well with a wide variety of dishes such as Winter Vegetables, White Asparagus, Langoustines, and Raclette, Goat’s Cheese and Cheese Fondues – ideal for New Year parties!