Rosé 'Cuvée Tradition' Domaine de Médeilhan, Vin de Pays d'Oc 2017

Rose Medeilhan Cuvee Tradition.jpg
Rose Medeilhan Cuvee Tradition.jpg
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Rosé 'Cuvée Tradition' Domaine de Médeilhan, Vin de Pays d'Oc 2017

from 11.50

Summer’s here, so brace yourself for a deluge of dreadful puns from the British wine trade, as they offer their rosés for the season. Prepare yourself for side-splitters like “It’s Been a Good Year for the Rosés!” or “See the World Through Rosé-Tinted Glasses!”… ad infinitum. But don’t worry, you won’t find any of that nonsense with us. No way, rosé!

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good pun. In fact, I recently entered a joke contest and sent in ten of my very best puns hoping one of them might win. Sadly, no pun in ten did. OK, OK, enough. So here is our rosé pick for the summer. 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 Syrah and Grenache using the saignée method, it is a pale prawn-shell pink in colour, 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.

Three of the worst puns you will read this year:

1. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named Ahmal. The other goes to a family in Spain and is named Juan. Years later Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. On receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wished she had a picture of Ahmal as well. Her husband responds, “They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Ahmal!”

2. Two boll weevils grew up together in the same town. One went to Hollywood and became a famous actor. The other stayed behind and became a petty criminal. The second one, naturally, became known as the lesser of two weevils.

3. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused drugs for a root canal treatment? He wanted to transcend dental medication.

Customer comments:

”The new rosé was most enjoyable!” - Mr. M.T.

”Can I also get 12 more of that wonderful rosé you kindly dropped around before the weekend - it was just the ticket in the summer which has now departed!” - Mr. C.M.

“Had the first bottle last night which drank well by itself and very well with BBQ chicken!” - Mr. D.H.

We cracked open a bottle and it was, as expected, superb.” - Mr. G.D.

“It is really a very fine rosé.” - Mr. M.L.

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