Le Petit Ballon is an excellent wine subscription box and it’s perfect for beginners as well as wine connoisseurs. All of their wines are hand selected by master sommelier Jean-Michel Deluc who has worked as the head sommelier at the luxury Ritz Hotel in London. This should give you an indicator as to the quality of the French wines that you’ll receive every month from Le Petit Ballon!
Each subscription box is packaged in a sturdy ‘shockproof’ box and sent via courier to the UK straight to your door each month. It’s always such a pleasure to receive them and I really enjoy reading the accompanying The Gazette which is Le Petit Ballon‘s monthly magazine, packed full of interesting wine and culture related news and features. Alongside The Gazette, you’ll also receive a set of Tasting Notes which provides further information about the wines that are included and how best to taste them.
September’s theme is ‘Time For A Rhône Trip‘ and I received a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine as part of Le Petit Ballon‘s Grape Expectations subscription. Let’s try them out!
Château Suau Bordeaux Blanc 2016 Organic – AOP Bordeaux Blanc (750ml, 13%)
Starting with the white, I was very pleased to see an organic wine this time around, as I’ve started to see a much bigger selection of these on sale over the past few years, which is a fantastic step forward for the environment. This one is made by the Château Suau family in Suac which is a single estate property situated at the very top of the Côtes De Bordeaux. The Château Suau is run by Franck Noguiez and his team who farm 70 hectares of land completely organically with the utmost respect for the land.
For this Bordeaux Blanc, they blend Sauvignon, Sémillon and Muscadelle grapes for an exceptionally fresh, light and fruity white wine. In the glass, this wine has a pale gold colour with youthful green reflections, and to the nose, it has a very fruity aroma. I really enjoyed this wine – it tastes wonderfully fresh with strong Citrus notes mixed with White Fruits. A very quaffable white wine that pairs well with a range of Grilled Meats, Courgette dishes and fresh Fish.
Domaine Grand Nicolet Rasteau 2015 – AOP Rasteau (750ml, 15%)
Moving onto the red, here we have a bottle from the Domaine Grand Nicolet which comes from the Rasteau region of the Vallée du Rhône. The vineyard is home to large round stones that litter the grounds and are intrinsic to the style of the wine that’s produced here which is something that I wouldn’t have really thought about before!
This Rasteau 2015 is a classic dry red made from a triple blend of grapes; Grenache, Syrah and Carignan. It has the most beautiful deep purple-red colour with hints of violet when it catches the light, and it has a powerful aroma of rich Fruits and Spices. These come through strongly on the tasting as well with Fruity flavours of ripe Cherries and Prunes, combining with Licorice, Black Pepper and Smoke. This wine is full-bodied and complex – a lovely wine to enjoy with a barbeque that has grilled Meat dishes and fine French cheeses.