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Wine Review: Rose wines herald arrival of warmer weather

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The warm and springlike weather for February has caused many to put away their cold-weather, heavier red wines in favor of lighter, fruitier, warm-weather favorites, the rose wines.

By their color, fruit flavors and floral aromas, rose wines have always been the harbinger of springtime and all of the joys of warmer weather. The sudden appearance of rose wines on store shelves has proven over the years to be a more accurate predictor of approaching warm weather that Punxsutawney Phil, the not- always -correct weather-predicting groundhog.

To get ahead of the upcoming and anticipated springtime, I have had the opportunity to sample some very nice rose wines and would like to call them to your attention.

11 Minutes Rose ($20)
I will start with the name, as I believe the reader could be as confused by it as I was. The 11 minutes in the name refers to the time that the color-forming skins of the red grapes were in contact with the must (grape juice for wine). The grapes used for this wine are the popular Italian red grapes corvina, trebbiano, syrah and carmenere that bless this wine with a dynamic kaleidoscope of flavors and aromas. My comment on this wine: It is 11 minutes well spent.

Alie 2021 ($50)
This wine was named for a sea nymph of Greek mythology and a symbol of sensuality and beauty, all of which is emphasized by the wine's attractive pale pink color. The aroma of Alie is a display of citrus and peach with positive notes of spring by also presenting the aromas of roses and peonies. The flavor offers the impression of thyme and sage, which also reside in the finish. This is a rose wine that can be served with almost any of winter’s favorite foods and will not interfere with or even compete with the food's character.

Brilla! Prosecco DOC Rose ($15)
Brilla! Prosecco Rose comes from the Veneto region of Italy, a district famed for the quality of the grapes grown there. This prosecco has a lot going for it: the aromas of springtime fruit and flowers that are enhanced and carried out of the glass by the bubbles and, best of all, a very affordable price, a feature that is found in very few sparkling wines. This is a sparkling wine that will easily fit with full-flavored meals and a beverage to serve when company comes as it will definitely impress your guests.

Donna Fugata Rosa ($50)
This wine proves that Sicily, the home of powerful red wines, also can be the home of a delicate rose. The wine opens with the aroma of rose petals and jasmine that’s accompanied by peach and nectarine, all of which follow through to the finish, a melange of summer fruits and flowers. I will tell you that when the wine is poured, the room fills with the aromas of summer and elicits the joy of warm weather.

Ehlers Estate Sylviane 2022 Rose ($38)
From the Napa Valley comes the American entrance into the dominion of rose wines. The aroma is also very American, featuring raspberries, strawberries, summer flowers and orange peel and, to tell the truth, more summer fragrances than I could count. There is also a creaminess to be found in both the wine and in the finish. I will also say that this wine strays away from European roses in that it presents its aroma and flavor right up front and not wrapped in a series of fruits and flowers. I also believe that at first taste, the strong hand of its Napa Valley birthplace makes a definite and undeniable statement. And what an excellent statement that is.

Wine columnist Bennet Bodenstein can be reached at


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