‘A Best Buy for Valentine’s Day’

‘A Best Buy for Valentine’s Day’

Surprisingly vibrant Brut rosé from Spain!

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I’ve been recommending Spanish Cava (sparkling wine made by the true Champagne process with a second fermentation in the bottle) for decades. In the past, many of these inexpensive wines were rather “steely” and left a metallic taste in your mouth. But vinification methods improve, and now many Cavas can compete with the wines they have long emulated. Just as true Champagne uses Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as their signature grapes, so Spain predominantly uses its own indigenous grapes. Today’s wine, Vilarnau Brut Reserva Rosé non-vintage, is a blend of 85% Trepat (new to me), plus a “borrowed” 15% of Pinot Noir. The result is quite wonderful and a best buy for Valentine’s Day.

Vilarnau Brut Reserva Rosé NV $16 srp

Light and bright salmon in color. A fresh, invigorating nose of red currant, wild strawberry with minerally citrus notes. A touch of brioche and spice as well. Flavors are light-bodied and dry with cherry and raspberry notes plus a yeasty touch. The texture is creamy, yet juicy and nicely tangy on the finish. This is a winner. Drink now-2019.

89/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.