Rain and kosher Rosé in Paris

Travel dates for weddings and weather are some of those things that you cannot control. When bad weather occurs on such a trip it is the worst of both worlds and leads to much disappointment, but thankfully this trip included lots of family so to me it was a win, albeit a wet one!

In this case I am talking about a trip I did for a wedding of my nephew that took place three days before the shabbat that preceded the shavuot holiday! My brother thought it would be a great idea to visit our family in France, and a great visit it was indeed, except for the freaking pouring rain that did not let up!

Blessedly, we left just before it got really out of hand, and the Louvre shut down to move its art out of the basement. That said, side note, we did go to the louvre for one hour and 20 minutes. I have been there many times in the past and each time I hate it because the art is well – old! I am a huge art fan, but of the more recent variation! I like my art with a drink by date of 1880 or so, the impressionist period and on. Anything before that (AKA the FREAKING louvre for example) is well – not drinkable and or outdated! But we went because my nephew had never been there, so sure – let’s see some really old art that is either about religious undertones, religious overtones, or horses! My goodness, how many horses can a person look at before they get it – that is a horse! Thanks for being so obtuse about it! I was worried I may have missed something in their efforts!

Anyway, enough of my hatred for all things really old, my nephew wanted to see the mona lisa and I was happy to see the Winged Victory of Samothrace – it is old but really cool! The insane aspect was that people were waiting in a line for three hours to go into the louvre! The line was for folks who were buying tickets for that day. I saw that line and I said this is insane, it is raining, wet, annoying, and this is no pirates of the caribbean ride! Why would I wait three hours! So, in classic American style we walked up to the front and there in plain sight for all was another line, a line through which you could walk straight into the museum, all u needed were electronic tickets! Nephew on phone – three minutes later we have tickets and in we go! Sadly, that was the best part of the story! You see the place was PACKED! Crazy packed! The louvre is closed on Tuesdays, the BEST museum in Paris, the Musee d’Orsay is closed on Mondays, there is the mona lisa, oh and did I mention it was POURING! – so the combo made for a not so comfortable experience even inside the dry museum (which was not dry for long)!

It took us 30 minutes to get to the mona lisa – the lines were baking up into and through the escalators! Think about that for a second, imagine being backup into an escalator – let me allow that to sink in for a moment! Reminds me of the joke by Bill Cosby – where the man asks him imitating Noah, what he was building and he kept replying I cannot tell you, until he finally drops the line, how long can you tread water for! Well, how long can you tread an escalator for???

Once we survived the moving death trap, we slowly made our way to the Mona Lisa and this is what we see!

Mona Lisa line and packed room

Seriously! This thing is more crowded than a moshpit at a Wiggles concert! My Nephew had to mosh his way through that crowd to get a close up view. The way back – out was not better! The folks there actually do want to look at ancient art and there is so much of it, that the pace of exit was excruciating! We finally got out – but before we were subjected to an interconnected shopping mall! Are you kidding me!!

The crazy mall in the louvre with the requisite Starbucks!

This was the only thing I could appreciate in the entire attached mall. More on Starbucks below. We eventually made our way to the metro to get to the next stop – the Arc de Triomphe, sadly it was still a rainy day! The trip was quick and we were at the Arc in no time, the picture has blurred faces to protect the innocent of this blog!

Arc de Triomphe on a rainy day

From there we made our way to the tour eiffel – the symbol of Paris, and boy was it crawling with cops, which at one time made me feel safe, and at another time made me feel out of place. We tried to thank the police officers for protecting us and all – they were not impressed – both in French or English.

Eiffel Tower

From there it was time to dry off! We had been walking in the pouring rain all day and while rain does not bother me much at all, rain and cold clearly set me up for some bouts of sneezing and coughing throughout my trip. Thankfully, it never took over and that is crucial given the number of tastings I did that day or on the rest of the trip, but it did slow us down on some days.

We stayed at a Sheraton hotel because – well I love SPG! SPG is a great hotel chain frequent usage program, at least until Marriott messes it all up soon. The hotel was in the 17th arrondissement, which was very close to many kosher restaurants. A quick tip you can tell which arrondissement you are going to if you have the address. The last two digits of the Paris zipcode is the arrondissement.

One thing we had to do before we got to the hotel was do a little shopping and that was where I picked up my rose wines. In the end I tasted 11 rose wines (9 here and 1 at each restaurant) and one red. Most were just horrible, but there were a few winners and I will list them below.

Rose Cabernet, Elysee Palace Rose, Gris du Sud, 2015 Corne-Loup Tavel Rose, Cabernet D'Anjou Rose, Eclat De Diamant Gris du Sud, 2015 Chateau Montaud Rose, Plaza Prestige Rose

We finally made our way to the hotel, dried off, took showers and then made our way to dinner. The first night we ate at the Darjeeling restaurant. It is an OK place, but it is glatt and that is what we were looking for. The appetizers were mostly winners, well spiced and well made overall. The main courses were ok, not great or bad, but the wine list is a total disaster, other than the rose wines. I went with the 2015 Tavel Rose and a bottle of the 2012 Fourcas Dupre. The two wines were both a treat and really well accepted from the folks who tasted them, including myself!

The next day – well let’s say it was a fiasco! We were meant to get up at 8AM, but it was closer to noon by the time we finally awoke! So, our dreams of versailles went out the window. I made my way to the Starbucks across the street and picked up coffee for all. Then we got dressed and made our way to get some food and what an adventure that was. I accept full responsibility, I saw a place that looked good, but did not realize they had moved. We had gotten to the the Belleville area and well there was nothing kosher where we stopped. So, we walked in – you guessed it, more rain for a good 20 minutes. At that point we arrived at the newly renovated Hyper Cacher Manin, which was not the same location where the horrific attack occurred last year. We checked around and they had little in ready to eat food, though they had lots of wine, but none that I would buy. So, we left and made our way to a patisserie right next door, called; Charles Gourmet – a lovely pastry shop, which had wonderful fricassee and other Tunisian delicacies. I personally recommend stopping by there – they make great stuff, and they have a wonderful wine selection, though the prices are far too high. The photos of the goodies are below:

From there we took the metro to my Aunt’s apartment – and spent a few hours with her listening to old stories – we even recorded it all on my Nephew’s iPhone! From there we had some drinks with our cousins at a brasserie close by, and then it was on to dinner. Once again, we went to a glatt kosher place, and this time it was; Lotus de Nissanne. To me this place crushed darjeeling. Now, this is not a great restaurant, but it is a very solid choice for those looking for a glatt option in Paris in the 11th arrondissement. The wine list and the food were better, and it was here that I enjoyed a wine I really loved at sommelier this past year; the 2014 Club Noir Rose. It is a racy and electric wine with great acid and good fruit.

A note here, as I posted last week about kosher roses, in Paris/France many of the wines do not have a vintage! This is annoying to no end, as you do not know if it is an old or new bottle. Many of the wines below – have no date for the wines. I have denoted this by adding in an NV (Non Vintage) on the notes.

After that we went home and woke up the next day to make our way to Israel via EasyJet – which is a story to itself but that will have to wait for my next post – the Israel portion of the trip. The wine notes follow below for all wines tasted on this Paris portion of the trip:

2015 Domaine Corne Loup Tavel, Moise Tieb – Score: NA
The nose is muddled with dark cherry, nice spice, cranberry, and gooseberry. The mouth carries the nose with bubbles, and dark red fruit that shows nice saline, but this is a wine with too many flaws. Sad

NV Eclat De Diamant, Gris de Sud – Score: A- (QPR)
The nose on this Gris wine is lovely with lovely pear, peach, gooseberry, strawberry, and lovely saline. The mouth on this wine is lovely, really showing great control, a bit of sweet notes, but that is ok, well balanced with ripping acid, and great pith and saline, while showing great tart strawberry, raspberry, slate, and floral notes in the background. Impressive all around, with good tart fruit, mineral, and such a refreshing tart wine that it really is a great QPR!!

NV Plaza Prestige Rose (mevushal) – Score: NA
Another slightly muddled wine, it is mevushal, but this is more balanced than the Corne Loup. The nose on this wine is nice enough, cooked notes, with cherry and strawberry. The mouth is acidic with some pith, but everything else falls apart after that – bummer.

NV Listel, Sable de Camargue Grain de Gris – Score: B+ to A-
Lovely nose of dirt, slate, light funk, and lovely strawberry, with floral notes in the background. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is nice with good balance and acid, peach, but showing age and candied fruit with cooked notes showing. Cooked notes are showing a bit, but as it opens the wine shows more funk and dirt bringing – lovely all around wine with candied strawberry and quince. The finish is long and flinty – nice! This wine feels more like the 2013 Montaud.

NV Elysee Palace Gris du Sud (mevushal) – Score: A- (QPR)
This wine starts off with a lovely ethereal and flinty nose with great quince, cherry, and raspberry. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is tart, dry, and showing get refreshment with intense acid and lovely fruit attack. The mouth is striking with great intensity, focus, and gooseberry, followed by mad grapefruit, and funk. The finish is long and pith based with more acid, rock, mineral, and gooseberry lingering long – BRAVO!!!

NV Rose Cabernet, Selection Bokobsa – Score: NA
Another one of those unbalanced rose, this one is too sweet, too much residual sugar without the requisite acid to make it work.

2013 Diane de Vernay, Vendanges Manuelles – Score: B+ to A-
The nose on this wine starts off slow, but opens quickly with lovely rose hips, rose water, with classic Provence funk, and flint. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is lacking a bit in the acid, but makes up for it in the overall balance and pith. The mouth starts off with a bit more funk, followed by pith, gooseberry, raspberry, dried grapefruit, and nice acid bringing up the back. The finish is long with nice hints of tannin, more funk, strawberry, and good spice, along with cloves, and dried quince. Nice!!! Drink up!!!

NV Louis Blanc Cabernet D’Annjou – Score: NA
This is another one of those wines that lacks balance with too much residual sugar.

2015 Chateau Montaud, Cotes du Provence – Score: A- (and more) (QPR)
The last vintage of this wine was not tasted blind as was this one – no silver foil to be found! The nose on this gris colored wine is indeed old world, dried fruit, earth, dirt, mineral, saline, less funk than the 2014, strawberry, and yellow flowers. The nose on this lovely wine starts off closed like the 2014, but with time but with time opens beautifully. The mouth on this medium bodied wine shows incredible mineral, flint, which then gives way to dried apple, mad quince, grapefruit, showing more cold fruit than the 2014. This wine though is still very Provence in style, showing great focus, mineral, straw, dried grass, slate, crazy acid, with pear and apple taking front stage. The finish is focused, saline, mad acid and mineral bomb. Bravo!

2014 Domaine Lafond Rose, Tavel – Score: A- (QPR)
The nose on this wine is lovely and shows notes of candied cherry, raspberry, with tart fruit. The mouth feels fuller than the 13 because of the slight residual sugar that works great with the gripping acid and hints of tannin, with candied grapefruit and quince. The finish is long and tart with sweet notes mixing in here and there and refreshing acid that brings along with it pith and slate and floral notes.

2012 Chateau Fourcas Dupre – Score: A- (and more) (CRAZY QPR)
This is my QPR and goto red wine from France. The nose on this wine shows lovely notes of cherry, raspberry with a plate of tart red juicy fruit, followed by mineral and dirt galore. This wine is still very young, showing a medium bodied, with rich acid, mouth coating tannin, loads of crazy dirt, hints of mushroom, that has yet to all come together, but the tannins are slowly integrating, with cassis in the background, and the dirt showing more now. The finish is long and dry, with intense acid, mad mouth drying tannin, with great focus and attack, more mushroom, loamy dirt with tart lingering fruit, lovely.

Posted on June 16, 2016, in Kosher Rose Wine, Wine and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Per your suggestion I got a few bottles of the 2012 fourcas. I got the impression that it’s still hasnt hit its drinking window (atleast not when this article was written) so I have yet to try it. I was wondering if you’ve had it since and how it was progressing? Is it ready to drink but still in an upswing?
    Hope to we’re able to see each other next time you’re in town. Any plans for sukkot?

  1. Pingback: Vitkin, Tzora, and Flam Winery tastings along with 2015 rosé and whites from Israel | Wine Musings Blog

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