Le Petit Ballon – July 2017: When Wine & Design Tangle

Le Petit Ballon are a wine subscription box where all the wines that you’ll receive are hand selected by master sommelier, Jean-Michel Deluc, who has previously worked at the Ritz Hotel in London. His taste in wines is highly revered, so Le Petit Ballon uses his expertise and vast knowledge to send you the very best wines to enjoy.

Le Petit Ballon works on a monthly basis, so every month you will receive a new box of wines and there are different options available depending on your budget and personal tastes. The wines are sent in a thick ‘shockproof’ cardboard box via courier into the UK and they are accompanied by a copy of The Gazette, Le Petit Ballon‘s monthly magazine which features wine news, recipes and interviews with winemakers. You’ll also receive the Tasting Notes, which give you full details about the wines in this month’s box including where and how they are made, and how to enjoy them like a true wine connoisseur!

This month’s box is themed around ‘When Wine and Design Tangle‘ to celebrate the incredible journey of grape to wine and the history of wine making techniques.

For July’s box, I found two bottles of wine as part of Le Petit Ballon’s Grape Expectations subscription option – one bottle of red, and one bottle of white:-

Lar de Paula Tempranillo Madurado 2015 – DOC Rioja España (750ml, 13%)

Starting off with the red, I was very happy to find a bottle of Spanish Rioja in this month’s box. This wine is made in Elvillar, one of the highest villages in La Rioja (583 metres above sea level) which gives a rich freshness to wines produced in this area. It’s created by Fernando Meruelo’s Lar de Paula estate which has been in operation since 2005, but Fernando has been involved in wine since he could walk thanks to the family business.

This Rioja is made from Tempranillo grapes which give the wine its deep ruby colour with subtle violet highlights. It has an aroma of Black Fruits with hints of Smoke, Licorice, and Spices and the taste is very similar too. It’s powerfully fruity and complex with those spicy notes really coming through, and there’s a touch of Vanilla and Pepper thrown in for good measure.

This wine pairs well with various meat dishes (Grilled Red Meats, Pork Sausages, Braised Lamb), fish such as Salmon, Stuffed Cabbage and cheese, particularly Livarot. I really enjoyed this one as an after-dinner drink in the late evening – a splendid Rioja!

Paul Benoit Mâcon-Villages 2015 – AOP Mâcon-Villages, France (750ml, 12.5%)

Chardonnay is one of my favourite white wines, and I always enjoy tasting new ones. This particular Chardonnay comes from Mâcon in Burgundy and has been made by a family who have been making wines for three generations since 1947. Everything is done by the family, from the harvesting in the vineyards to the bottling and sales afters, so it’s a true family run business through and through.

This is a beautiful Chardonnay with a bright gold colour in the glass and a fresh and fruity aroma on the nose. This freshness is even more pronounced when you taste it, as it’s wonderfully light, refreshing and fruity with delicate floral notes and a touch of Mint and Vanilla.

This wine pairs well with a range of dishes including Chicken with Tarragon and Mushrooms, Vegetable Gratin, Grilled Fish and lots of fresh cheeses like Goat’s Cheese. It’s a perfect Summer wine to relax in the garden with when the sun’s out, and it’s one of the best Chardonnay’s that I’ve tasted all year.

Our score: 9.8/ 10

Two fantastic bottles of wine this month; a superb Spanish Rioja and a beautiful French Chardonnay to enjoy this Summer. Excellent choices Jean-Michel!

  • Quality of products10
  • Originality9
  • Packaging and delivery10
  • Value for money10
  • Selection of products10

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