Looking for a gift for someone who likes to try out fine French wines? Look no further! Le Petit Ballon is a popular French wine subscription box that ships to the UK and I’ve enjoyed discovering many top quality bottles from them over the months. With Le Petit Ballon, 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 you are guaranteed the best quality every single time that your box is delivered.
Each month, you’ll receive two bottles of wine and a copy of Le Petit Balloon‘s magazine, The Gazette, which is an interesting read full of food, culture and of course wine topics!
For November, they are getting the Christmas party started with a bottle of sparkling white wine and a bottle of red as part of their Grape Expectations subscription.
Antech Limoux Maison Antech – Vintage 2015 (12% vol)
I was very pleased to see a bottle of sparkling white wine and this particular one from the vineyards of Limoux is a fantastic example of wines that are produced in this warm climate region. Blended by a sixth generation, family-run business, Maison Antech-Limoux uses sustainable and integrated viticulture, and produce wines using the most traditional methods possible.
Their Vintage 2015 is crisp, delicate, fresh and full of flavour, and made from a triple blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Mauzac grapes. It boasts a beautiful golden colour with fine bubbles and has an elegant aroma of delicate White Peach, White Flowers and Mint. On the palate, it’s zesty and refreshing with lots of fruity notes coming through. Very thirst quenching and drinkable! It pairs well well with dishes such as Fennel Salad, Cream of Courgette Soup, Sushi, Salmon Tartare, Goat’s Cheese and Boursin. I loved it!
Château de Beaulieu -Château de Beaulieu 2006 (13% vol)
For over 25 years, Château de Beaulieu has been managed by the same people and their 30 hectares of vines are carefully tended to gain the maximum expression from the terroir. The estate has a rich history which goes back to the 12th century and the resulting wines are close to Bordeaux in style, yet have a unique subtle complexity which makes this wine a true discovery!
It was a real treat to try this interesting bottle of red which has a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Abouriou grapes. It has a rich garnet colour in the glass, and on the nose its complex aroma features notes of Leather, Violets, Jam Fruits, Spice and Liquorice. These are reflected in the taste which is enveloped in velvety tannins with plenty of fruits and a soft, spicy finish. Pairing well with Red Meats, Stuffed Cabbage and a range of cheeses such as Camembert, Brie, Livarot and Cantal, it has a lovely festive warmth to it which is perfect for the season.