Thursday, August 15, 2019

La Coqueluche 2018 Rosé, Pays D’Oc

P1050436Can a $6 rosé deliver taste as well as value? We uncork a Trader Joe’s special to find out.

To Quench A Thirst

Last night I got together with some friends for 18 holes of disc golf. We had a great time and maybe frightened a few drivers in Middle Creek Park with some errant throws.

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The humidity was withering. At the end of our match, my shirt was wringing wet. That’s the type of weather we’ve had this summer in the Old North State.

Summer heat means lighter, chilled wines. Usually we opt for a nice rosé or chilled Sauvignon Blanc. A couple weeks ago I decided to stock up on some everyday white and rosé wines and happened to be in Trader Joe’s.

This bottle caught my eye first because of the shapely bottle and second because it met the criteria of being cheap. In fact, La Coqueluche is dirt cheap at less than $6. This is a Trader Joe’s exclusive. I figured it would either quench my thirst or I could lambast it in a wine review.

Can Cheap Also Be Good?

The bottle for La Coqueluche is similar, if not identical, to the squat yet elegant bottle used for the high end Miraval rosé. Miraval is the winery owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Their highly-praised rosé comes from Provence and sells for $28.

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The bottle brings a cool aspect to La Coqueluche, which is French for “favorite.” The packaging makes it look like a far more expensive wine.

It doesn’t come the Provence, the epicenter of rosé, instead it is from the Pays D’Oc region in the southern coast of France. The “pays” wines are in a category  a step lower than the AOC wine regions like Provence. The grapes aren’t specified, but Syrah, Grenache and Carignan are the main red varieties in the region.

We’ve had great experience with Pays D’Oc wine and were anxious to try La Coqueluche. The verdict is two thumbs up. The flavor has clean and straightforward strawberry notes with juicy melon.

It teases some Provence-style flavors but doesn’t have the fullness or complexity of an outstanding rosé. Still, we rate it as very good. We’ve paid three or four times more for rosé that wasn’t nearly as good. Another area where the wine falls short is the finish. It’s a delightful drinker, but the finish closes shop too early.

Perhaps the best statement on the quality of the wine is that when my wife returned from Trader Joe’s yesterday, she had another bottle of La Coqueluche in the shopping bag. At this price you can buy a case, which might tide you through the scorching summer.

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