An Italian-style find from France via Trader Joe's, the Ile De Conas Rouge Souplesse.
A blend of 70% Marselan (a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache), 12% Grenache Noir, 10% Cinsault and 8% Carignan from France vinified after passerillage (drying on the vine). This method of using dried grapes (also known as appassimento) is much more common in Italy where it used to make wines like Amarone.
This wine is available exclusively at Trader Joe's for $8.99. It is imported by Plume Ridge.
Ile de Conas Rouge Souplesse is a unique wine as it went through a special process called "Appassimento" or "Passerillage". This process allows the grapes to dry for a period of time after harvest to obtain natural sweetness. As a result, this exceptional wine has pronounced aromas of berry, cherry and spices followed by smooth and refined tannins. Best paired with grilled steak with blackcurrant sauce, beef skewers and chorizo with plum and coriander.
Bottled by Jean-Claude Mas
As the back label (and the cork) attest, this wine is made by the Mas Family. We're big fans of the wines of Paul Mas. That fact, in addition to the uniqueness of using dried grapes in a French wine, had us very interested to give this one a try.
The 2018 Ile De Conas Rouge Souplesse begins with a pleasing aroma full of dark fruit, a little bit of a prune and raisin note and nice touches of spice and vanilla.
Those same flavors continue in the mouth where the wine tastes nicely sweet and rather Italian-like. Smooth, easy to drink and with a long finish, this is quite nice at this low price for people who enjoy this style of wine. It's always cool when Trader Joe's brings something unexpected like this and it works this well.