wine review! : Baron Gassier 2017 Cuvée Élégance Rosé

i’m pretty sure this is the first Côtes-de-provence Sainte-Victoire rosé i’ve had and i like it a lot. it was on sale at Sainsbury’s for £10 (down from £13) so it was a little more than the usual £4-£7 range of bottom-shelf wines i go for but still worth it imo.

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it’s lovely and smooth (with a very pretty pale pink color). my main impression is that it’s silky but with the minerality that’s the main reason i love Provençal rosé. that minerality almost goes into something like diesel or grass notes that i’m learning are common to South African white wines (which i also like) but the fruit notes keep it from going full gasoline.

aside from those mineral notes the most interesting thing to me is the texture because while this isn’t ‘heavy’ by any means it is definitely fuller than other rosés i’ve had. like when i say ‘silky’ it’s not just smoothness, it means there’s an actual weight to it that stands out. so for example, this maybe wouldn’t be my first choice to have while sitting on a patio in the sun, but it is definitely complex and delicious with everything i want out of a Provençal rosé.

4.5/5

wine review World Cup semi-final edition! : 2016 Tesco Beaujolais

for the second of my France vs. Belgium drinks, i got some Beaujolais. i actually wanted rosé but the little Tesco only had Italian or British ones.

the label describes it as ‘soft and light bodied’,

A vibrant red wine with bright and juicy flavours of red cherry and red currant. Goes with cured meats and cheeses.

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to start it’s kind of boozy on the first nose but with a jammy redcurrant note that’s very nice. it’s full and juicy with a tiny bit of spice, and overall i like it a lot, though i wouldn’t call it soft or light bodied exactly.

i’m having it with a turkey shepherd’s pie type thing which is kind of perfect, as i think it might not be dry enough to do well with steak or something like that. overall it’s very tasty and i’ll definitely get it again especially since it only costs £5.25. 4.5/5

semi-relatedly, i only learned the other day, while watching Richard Osman’s House of Games, that Beaujolais is different from Beaujolais Nouveau, which makes sense but i think until now i’d only ever had Beaujolais Nouveau and kind of just assumed they were both the same. learning is fun!

Tesco 2017 South African Pinotage W.O. Western Cape

this is only the second Pinotage i’ve had so i was excited to try it. this is one of my favorite grapes now i think. i’m not sure what the ‘official’ name of this bottle is. on the Tesco website they just call it ‘South African Pinotage’.

it has a wonderful nose of sour cherries. when drinking it’s juicy at first before giving way to a nice dryness that stays fruity, without too much of the woodiness that can come with tannins. i kind of love this wine. i got another bottle to go with some lamb i’m making for easter so i might update this once i’ve tried it with food. 4.5/5

Tesco Finest 2017 Las Hijuelas Carmenere

i’ve never had this grape before but overall it’s nice and i’m glad i found something like-but-not cabernet sauvignon.

plum nose, dry wood, ‘herbs’ like it says on the bottle. the tannins are a little strong, ie it’s dry, which i like, but it’s also a little too heavy for my tastes. (probably) very nice with steak and mushrooms but a little much to have on its own. that said for six quid it is complex and good, strong (13%) dinner wine so i’d definitely get it again. 4ish out of five?

wine review! Tesco Finest Lambrusco Reggiano

omg i love this! it reminds me of Top Topic and Sangria Señorial, though obviously ~with~ alcohol. i love this and want it all the time.

speaking of Top Topic, when i was in Czechia around 2003-2004 i could have sworn i had a red grape Top Topic in addition to the white grape one they show on the website, but i can’t seem to find any references to it anywhere. i could have just had the red Vinea i suppose but for some reason that doesn’t look/feel familiar to me.

anyways back to this! it’s just very nice. juicy but not too sweet, soft bubbles, and lots of fun. i could have this every day, particularly since my ultra-lush luxury emperor dream is to start every morning with some sort of wine-based bubbles.

wine review! 2016 Emotion Côtes de Provence Rosé

even though it’s march, today was the first proper sunny day in a while (following the Beast storm that gave us a week of snow and empty grocery stores and whatnot) so i couldn’t resist getting some lovely rosé. for the complete Provençal experience i took a picture of it with my Cézanne print.

the first nose is definitely strawberries and makes me smile. it’s light and tart at first before filling out in the middle and ending with some nice mineral (and maybe vegetal) dryness. it’s what i think you would call ‘moreish’.

i’m having it with olives, bread and cheese, shrimp and other little tapas sort of snacks but i can definitely imagine this going well with a light pasta. all in all i’m basically in heaven with this lunch 😊

for price-to-value comparison, this is another low-priced Tesco rosé. it was £5 when i got it today but i think usually it’s a tiny bit more expensive. it’s drier than the regular Tesco Côtes de Provence Rosé and since today it happened to be £1.50 cheaper it’s definitely much better for the price. it’s still not as complex as it could be so it’s not mind-blowing or anything, but still very nice overall. tomorrow i’m gonna try an M&S rosé i got specially for a train ride, so it’ll be interesting to see how it compares.

4/5