Le Petit Ballon are one of the most popular wine subscription boxes around, and I always look forward to receiving their selections of beautiful French wines every month! All of the wines are handpicked by the famed sommelier Jean-Michel Deluc, who has previously worked as the head sommelier at the Ritz Hotel in London, so you know you’re getting the best, and it’s a fantastic way to try out wines that you may not have come across before.
In addition to the bottles, you’ll receive a copy of Le Petit Ballon‘s excellent monthly magazine called The Gazette, which is always an enjoyable read and has lots of interesting features on wine, culture and food. You’ll also receive the Tasting Notes by Jean-Michel where he explains the wines that he’s chosen this month, so that you can learn more about their heritage and how to sample them like a proper connoisseur.
January’s Le Petit Ballon is themed a Spotlight On Bordeaux and features a bottle of red and a bottle of white, as part of their Grape Expectations subscription.
Domaine des Allégrets Cuvée blanc sec 2016 – AOP Côtes-de-Duras (13.5%)
Starting with the white, this beautiful bottle of Sauvignon Blanc is a new favourite of mine! Produced by Domaine des Allégrets which is situated in the Côtes-de-Duras region near to Bordeaux, this area is famed for its unique style and identity, with Domaine des Allégrets being one of the ‘local stars’ here. The vineyard has a proud heritage, with Julien Blanchard’s family being involved in the area for over five centuries. His work follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, Pierre Carrier, which ensures that the wines produced are a combination of tradition and style working in harmony for the best results.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favourite white wines so I had a feeling I was going to like this from the minute that I saw it! In the glass, this wine has a strong golden colour, with subtle silvery highlights and a brilliant sheen. On the nose, it has a fresh and zesty aroma, whilst taste-wise, it’s dry but incredibly fruity with notes of Honey, Lemon and White Mint providing a wonderfully refreshing flavour. Pairs well with numerous dishes including Seafood and Goats Cheese. Delicious!
Vignobles Bouillac Château Clos du Loup 2011 – AOP Blaye Côtes-de-Bordeaux (14.5%)
Château Clos du Loup is one of Bordeaux’s most legendary wines and comes from the family estate of Vignobles Bouillac. Headed by Jean-Pierre who took over the estate 20 years ago, he has been quick to produce a range of diversified wines that yield a certain level of exceptional quality that is so common in this region. The Bouillac family are not just winemakers either; they also nuture a winemaking nursey which has been in operation for several generations, giving them the expertise and vast knowledge to perfectly understand their grapes, from the roots to the vines.
This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Sauvignon which gives it a bright ruby red colour in the glass that has almost purple reflections. As you can see, it looks very velvety and rich! On the nose, there’s a beautiful aroma of fruits and spices, which is also reflected in the taste – it’s rich, complex and fruity with flavours of Black Pepper, Vanilla Smoke and Cassis Fruit coming together for the perfect dinner wine to enjoy with friends.