The Youngest Pink One

4 mins read

By Celia Strong

Sometimes it can be a lot of fun to really know what a name means, especially if it’s a wine name and you can be tasting the wine while you play with its name. Many wine names have become fun and entertaining over recent years. This week, it’s not a new made-up name like some, but a thought-out, almost traditional name that was created for a new wine when it was born. 

Our wine this week comes from Bordeaux, from a very well-known and highly-regarded parent. In 1930, Château Mouton-Rothschild, after generations of being a great red Bordeaux, Mouton-Rothschild had a vintage that was not up to its par. Rather than make a wine labeled as his château wine that could really hurt their reputation, owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild made up a new name, Mouton Cadet, and produced a new red wine from several grape varieties from several appellations. He priced it much lower and chose the name “cadet” because it meant “young” and he was the youngest son in his family. 

The new wine, as non-traditional as it was, was successful. Initially, it was made from grapes sourced from vineyards near the Château, in the Pauillac commune. Its appellation was “Pauillac,” like the Château wine. As demand grew for Cadet, grapes were sourced from other communes in Bordeaux, like Saint-Estephe and Haut-Médoc. Production of Cadet stopped during World War II, but was resumed afterward, and in 1947 it was granted AC “Bordeaux” appellation status. During the 1950s and 1960s, the wine was exported to England and the United States. A white was introduced in the 1970s. In 1975, sales topped 3 million bottles. Continued growth and success followed and, in 2007, the Le Rosé de Mouton Cadet was introduced. 

The current vintage rosé is a blend of 51% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Cabernet Franc. With a Bordeaux appellation. Its grapes come from several parts of the Bordeaux region, including Médoc, Entre-Deux-Mers, and Côte de Bourg. Some of the grapes are pressed and the juice is macerated and allowed to run off the skins. This is the saignée method, used for color and tannic structure. Other grapes are pressed and fermented for fruit flavors. How much of which method depends on the selected grapes of each vintage. 

The rosé always uses predominantly Merlot to achieve its intense red fruit flavors – red cherries, red raspberries, red plums, currants and strawberries. Cabernet Sauvignon is used for structure and power. And the Cabernet Franc brings elegance and refinement. Beyond its intense red fruitiness, the aromas and flavors of this wine include sage, tarragon, lemon zest, gooseberries, pink grapefruits, mint and hints of spiciness. The finished, blended wine is a shiny coral pink. It is light- to medium-bodied with a succulent texture and a crisp, minerally finish. Obviously a great apéritif wine, but it pairs well with seafood and shellfish, salads, mild cheeses, Asian meals and more. For $9.99. Enjoy. 

Celia Strong works at Bill’s Liquor & Fine Wines on Lady’s Island.

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