Rhône Valley Vineyards La Ferme Julien Róse

This is far better than the red Ferme Julien of the same vintage, which we reviewed a few months back. This one is 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, and 10% Syrah. The nose offers light strawberry and cherry notes, along with something a little nutty and yeasty. On the palate, it is light and acidic, with just a hint of allspice on the finish. Bone dry, refreshing, and food-friendly.

Rhône Valley Vineyards La Ferme Julien Rouge

This wine, apparently a Trader Joe’s exclusive, hails from the large Cotes du Ventoux appellation in the southeast corner of the Rhone Valley. According to the bottle, this is a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan, and 15% Cinsault. We’ll take their word for it. Unfortunately, none of the good qualities of any of those varieties are apparent in this wine. Instead, we get a sour and yeasty nose redolent of rancid strawberry cheesecake. Though light bodied, the taste is nevertheless tight, tannic, and tart, with a slightly metallic finish.