Magnum of Grenache Rosé, Domaine de Médeilhan, Vin de Pays d'Oc 2017 (150cl)

Medeilhan Grenache Rose.jpg
Medeilhan Grenache Rose.jpg

Magnum of Grenache Rosé, Domaine de Médeilhan, Vin de Pays d'Oc 2017 (150cl)

22.50

This is like a Provençal in every respect (colour, aroma, flavour, style) except the price (£9.95) and the fact that it isn’t from Provence (it’s not far away), but it’s every bit as good as the fashionable likes of Minuty, Whispering Angel and Miraval (I actually prefer it for the reasons cited below). It’s stylishly dry (less than 1 gram of residual sugar), but still delightfully fruity; it’s made ‘properly’ from free-run juice (i.e. not the cheap method of blending white with a little red wine); the farming methods are environmentally friendly and sustainable and have the ‘Terra Vitis’ certificate; it was fermented at a controlled temperature to preserve the fruit aromas and it weighs in at a featherweight 12.5% alc, keeping it bright and fresh. We think it’s fabulous and when you drink it, you’ll think the sun shines out of your glass!

Made from Grenache using the saignée method, it is a pale prawn-shell pink in colour (it looks a deeper colour in its magnum bottle than it will in your glass), which looks so inviting, especially when there’s a little condensation on the outside of the glass. It has the soft and gentle aromas of strawberry mousse and raspberry meringue, which in and of itself is hardly newsworthy, but it is what it doesn't have that makes it stand out from the crowd. It doesn't have the 'pear drop' and 'banana' aromas of a rosé that has been fermented at too low a temperature, it doesn't have the 'jammy' aromas of a rosé that has been fermented at too high a temperature, it doesn't have the stalky aromas of a rosé that has been left in contact with the skins for too long and it doesn't have the vinous aromas of a rosé that had been blended from white and red wine. It’s the Goldilocks rosé.

So, we headed off to meet the producer and were pleased to discover that the old adage about good people making good wine abides, because Christine de Saussine comes from that school of winemaking where humility is prized over bombast; she’s thoughtful, open, honest and generous with her time, without any insinuation that her role is greater than that it is (believe me, there are far too many winemakers who think they have reinvented the wheel). Meeting her immediately instilled us with the confidence that we had made the right decision and we didn’t hesitate in placing our order on the spot and it really warmed the cockles to see what it meant to her, because they are a new domaine and we are the first to bring their wine to the UK. In fact, they are so new that they’ve only been around since 1890. Yes, you did read that correctly (their clever tag line is: ‘New Since 1890’). So, what has been going on? Well, there has been viticulture on the estate since the 19th Century, but the fruit was always sold to local wine producers, until Christine, a 4th generation family member, took over and decided to bottle wine herself in 2015, so they are fresh out of the traps and it’s always exciting to help launch a new talent.


The simple art of buying the right rosé
As soon as the clouds disperse, the sky turns that strange colour (foreigners call it ‘blue’) and you feel the sun’s beams on your pasty-white skin, you know it’s time... You head to the nearest wine store, but there are so many shades of pink on the shelves it’s like staring at a Farrow & Ball paint chart. Then you have to navigate your way through bottles from countless different countries before your eyes finally work their way down to the price tags only to realise that there are yet more choices to be made with bottles ranging from £5 to £30. Your mind is spinning. Dare you even look at the alcohol level or at what grape it is made from? By the time you emerge (heroically) from the shop, your hands tightly gripping the bottles you just spent however long picking out (too long though!), the sun has already scuttled off back to France or Spain. It can be infuriating process.

Infuriating not least because rosé is supposed to be a fun and uncomplicated style of wine with a singular brief: to perk up your tastebuds and quench your thirst. The trick to buying a good one is simple. Don’t spend a lot in the expectation of getting a great one, just spend a modest amount and avoid being the charlie that bought a bad one. Trust your wine merchant to do the ground work on your behalf (we have tasted well over 300 so far this year) and don’t overthink it. Here’s one that we think is good. There are others that are good too. Don’t worry about the grass being greener. Love the wine you’re with.

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