Type: Rosé - Sparkling
Producer: Jean-Pierre Robinot (L'Opera des Vins)
Variety: Pineau d'Aunis (70%), Gamay (30%)
Designation: Vin de Table Annees Folles Petillant Rose
Region: Loire Valley
SubRegion: Upper Loire
Appellation: Coteaux du Loir
Price: $19.99 from
The first thing you will notice about this wine is the closure. It is a crown cap, a pop top like an old glass bottle of Coke. Do you remember those little 10 oz bottles of Coke, and the machines that dispensed them (most of the time)? It does the same job as the Coke top, keeping the fizz in, and does it just fine.
This is a lightly sparkling wine, about half what you would see in a regular sparkler.
The nose is very interesting, starting with loads of pencil lead (very typical of Pineau d'Aunis) and sweet red fruit- strawberries and sweet cherries.
The palate is true to the nose, pencil lead and a little strawberry on the attack, with very sweet (even bruised and over-ripe) strawberries and cherries on the mid-palate, seasoned with a bit of sage. The finish is long and very sweet.
The nose still leads with pencil lead and red fruit. The strawberries are the same but the cherries are sweeter, like maraschino. There is also a new aroma, the sweet and slightly vinegar smell of sushi rice.
Once again, the palate is true to the nose down to the sweet rice vinegar. The finish is long.
If truly pressed to put a label on this wine, I would call it "interesting." Not "good," nor "bad," but "interesting." It is something an oenophile should try for the experience, but don't run out and buy a case of it. The pencil lead is the primary aroma and flavor, and that is something I prefer as a secondary additional flavor, adding body and depth, rather than the lead. I also prefer more full-bodied cherries, like something from Traverse City, Michigan, in the summer, rather than maraschino, like something from a bottle in the refrigerator. This, however is purely a description of personal preference, rather than judgment of the wine, for I can not call it flawed, or even anything less than exactly what it purports to be.
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