Wine: Cristalino Rose Brut
Grapes: Pinot noir (60 percent), trepat (40 percent)
Region: Penedes, Catalonia, Spain
In the glass: Cristalino Rose is a brilliant antique-rose color with a clean, clear appearance and tiny bubbles rising up from the center. Deep salmon-colored at the core, it goes out into a fine light pink rim definition with medium viscosity.
On the nose: The bubbly nature of this wine is unobtrusive, meaning it doesn’t attack your nostrils, like some other sparklers. It features fresh-cut strawberries, raspberry sorbet, cranberry juice and hints of chalky minerality and freshly kneaded dough, with underlying red flowers and steely notes.
On the palate: The wine is a flavor bomb of red fruit medley with dominating strawberry, raspberry and red currant over layered and quite complex blood orange, red grapefruit segments, fresh bread and minerals. The midpalate, once the bubbles have dissipated, is rounded and excellently balanced with the red fruits, measured acidity and lovely touches of tannins that seamlessly integrate into the lingering finish. This wine is so good to drink!
Odds and ends: Cristalino Rose is ounce-for-ounce the greatest value “methode Champenoise” bubbly in the world! Made from an interesting blend of classic pinot noir and the indigenous ancient grape varietal trepat, this is the perfect choice for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy it chilled to 42 degrees Fahrenheit, and serve it in white wineglasses rather than champagne flutes, for maximum enjoyment.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at email@example.com.