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Wine Review: Italian series of rose variety hits US shelves

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Just in time to save wine lovers from the rapidly increasing price of wine, Italian winemakers have sent over to us a whole series of their popular rosato (rose) style of wines, and all at easily affordable prices.

These wines are well made by winemakers, some of whose family rosato wine-making history dates back to Roman times. I was privileged to sample some and I must admit that I was impressed by their quality.

I again remind the reader that the prices I show are the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and can, more often than not, be found at lower prices on the internet.

Masseria 2021 Li Veli “Torrerose” Negroamaro Rosato Salento ($15)
This wine comes from Italy’s Puglia region at the “heel” of the Italian boot. Although the area is usually hot, the cooling winds blowing off the Mediterranean Sea prevent the grapes from overheating. It’s made from the grape variety “negroamaro,” indigenous to Puglia and translated as black bitter. However, that describes the flavor of the grape when picked off of the vine and not the wine. While the grape may be a bit fierce off the vine, it produces a delightful rosato wine. The aroma of this wine is a compendium of summer berries that are presented in the true Italian style, obvious and in abundance as are the flavor and finish.

Garofoli 2021 “Komaros” Montepulciano Rosato Marche ($14)
An Italian wine with a Greek name? There is a story behind the choice of the name, but we are interested in the wine and not its name. The Kómaros is made from 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and from vines that have been specifically managed to make a rosato wine. The aroma features summer melon with a hint of mint, giving way to apple and blood orange. OK, since you insist, the name Kómaros comes from the Greek word for the madrone trees that are common in the grape-growing district.

Scaia 2021 Rondinella Rosato Veneto ($15)
This wine comes from the other end of Italy, the Veneto region in the northeast. It has been made from the rondinella grape, a traditional red Valpolicella variety that is not often seen or presented as a single variety wine and even more rare as a rosado. The wine displays the signature rosado floral aroma of roses, raspberries and fruit, which carry through to the flavor and then on to a finish that presents a host of summer berries with an undertone of citrus.

Masseria 2021 Li Veli Susumaniello Rosato Salento ($23)
Here is a wine for history and rarity buffs. This susumaniello grape variety is considered among the rarest of wine grapes grown today. The grape thrives mostly in the heel of the Italian boot where modern farming and wine making techniques have resulted in its resurrection. The aroma is definitely not shy, showing raspberry, cherry and blackcurrant with suggestions of licorice, rhubarb and leather. These aromas turn into flavors and follow the wine through to the memorable finish.

La Valentina 2021 Cerasuolo D’Abruzzo ($14)
The La Valentina winery has been in business since 1900 and for all that time has been a champion for the wines of Abruzzo by making their wine only from the local native grapes. This is a medium-body wine that features the aromas of violets and crushed red berries. The flavor and finish are a host of red and blue summer fruits that remain on the palate long after the wine has been finished. Like the other Italian rosato wines, this drink is an affordable way to be able to enjoy a good wine with meals.

Wine columnist Bennet Bodenstein can be reached at frojhe1@att.net.

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