2017 La Coqueluche Rose
This week's wine is another Trader Joe's great value wine. It's a rose from Languedoc region in Southeast France. La Coqueluche translates to "the favorite," and I could see how this could quickly become someone's favorite every day, easy drinking rose. As rose wine has become more popular over the past decade or so, Languedoc has capitalized on that, and has become a big rose region in France, similar to Provence. This bottle doesn't indicate which grape varietals were used to make the rose, but based on the red grapes that Languedoc is known for growing, we can hazard a guess. Langudeoc primarily grows Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Carignan. Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault are pretty common in dry rose blends, so I would guess that this bottle is either a blend of all three, or a blend of Syrah and Cinsault.
Languedoc is an interesting wine region to watch right now, because there's a new generation of winemakers that are coming from outside the region, and have chosen Languedoc as the place where they want to make wine, and they are making changes and trying new things in the region. Some of these new winemakers are helping Carignan make a comeback. As I mentioned in a post a couple months ago, Carignan has long been considered just a table wine, nothing special, but these new and young winemakers are starting to make Carignan wine that's complex and interesting, putting the grape back on the map. Young winemakers are also creating new appellations, sub-regions, in Languedoc. They're planting vineyards in parts of the region that haven't traditionally been used for wine growing, such as Picpoul de Pinet, where wine grapes are grown in oyster beds by lagoons. Keep an eye out for Languedoc wines in the coming years, as the region continues to grow and change.
This rose was a very easy-drinking wine. It was smooth and not too complex, fruity without being sweet. When I smelled the wine, it smelled like watermelon and strawberries, with a hint of saltiness on the back end. The flavor profile of the wine matched up with how it smelled. When I tasted it, it was fruit forward with notes of watermelon, strawberry, apricot, with a hint of citrus, and medium-strength minerality on the back end. It was a flavorful wine that held it's own, while still being incredibly easy to drink. This was a good rose, not a particularly interesting one, but a good one. If I had friends coming over for a backyard barbecue sometime this summer, I would buy this rose in bulk to serve. It tastes delicious, but it's not there to impress. Erik and I paired this wine with a scallop paella, and they went together beautifully. The rose was strong enough to stand up to the hearty rice and the sauce, while still delicate enough to play well of the scallops. It was a delicious pairing.