2011 Xanadu Wines Keg of Rosé

WHO: Xanadu Wines
WHAT: Mostly Malbec… Perhaps a splash of a few other Bordeaux varietals.
WHEN: 2011
WHERE: Margaret River, Western Australia
HOW: That’s a good question actually…

WHY: Our first four weeks of life in Margaret River were largely seen through Rosé-colored glasses. This story begins on the third day of cellar work at Xanadu Wines, where it was brought to our attention that an entire barrel of Rosé was going to be discarded as excess.  An inspired individual decided, that rather than dumping the wine, it should be preserved for staff consumption.  As our house supports five interns, and, historically, vintage interns drink like fish, one of the winemakers recommended that we fill a 50 liter keg with the pink stuff.

Far be it from us to disagree with our new boss on our first week of work, so we displaced the air inside with carbon dioxide and took it home. Without access to carbon dioxide, most people wouldn’t be able to keep this volume of wine drinkable for very long. Wine oxygenates rather quickly, and even faster with aeration devices like the Vinturi. A little oxygen can aid in opening a wine, making it more approachable, but too much air will make a wine unpalatable. We lucky souls are interns at an extremely well equipped winery that allows us to bring home buckets of dry ice, so we were able to keep this Rosé drinkable for as long as we as we could stand.  Thus began our extended date with mayhem.

Our American roommate, Jay, did not take a single day off from drinking this rosé for the first three weeks of vintage.  (It should be noted that there was a fourth week, but that he took a day or two off from rosé to indulge in beer.) We made multiple batches of stock pot-sized sangria. Our colleague and fellow NightRider, Lorne, even brought ‘lemonade’ i.e. Sprite, limes and ice to the beach to make rosé spritzers. This keg also allowed us to host a rather large party at our house including the entire vintage staff from Houghton. Dionysus himself smiled down that evening. As bakkheia took hold, we sang while jumping on a mattress that had inexplicably been dragged into the living room & in the morning, found no surface left virgin. If you ever want to get to know the nitty gritty of a wine, drink 50 liters of it.

Please don’t misinterpret anything written thus far as a slight to the wine.  If you’ve followed Hipster Enology for any length of time, you know that we adore rosé. Using a distinction made by Terry Thiese, ‘This wine is neither intricate or complex.’ Quite often, however, that is what one looks for in a rosé.  It is entirely quaffable; akin to bottled sunshine.  The nose is rosy with hints of potpourri and fresh cut strawberries.  Made from Malbec, there is a touch of pepper at the front of the palate leading into a fruity, mineral finish. Those tasting notes aside, most of our time with this rosé wasn’t spent analyzing it. We were getting to know this wine almost biblically.

THE WRAP: Typically this section of our wine reviews is reserved for why you should or shouldn’t drink a wine.  In this case, you can’t buy your own keg of this particular wine but you can purchase the more drinkable, more approachable & much more sophisticated 750 ml size of 2011 Xanadu Premium Label Rosé.

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