“Momma’s home!” Illahe Tempranillo Rose’ 2017

Sonja was away all this past week on business. Last night, after I finished up at school, I ran home to prep vegetables and then got the kids from daycare and we went and sat in the cell phone lot at Eppley until she texted us that she had landed. I had timed it well, and we didn’t have to wait long. Zooey was grinning from little ear to little ear and Titus, though at the moment preoccupied with being angry and yelling at me for taking off his shoe (which he had asked me to do), was extremely excited to see mommy again as well.

It had been weeks since we’d all been together at home for any reasonable time. Our week-long Florida vacation had been quickly followed up by my trip to Seattle, and Sonja had left for Memphis before I even got back from Washington. Thankfully, grandparents on both sides had stepped in and helped out. Still the family felt disjointed, like we hadn’t been together in a while, like normalcy was missing. Having momma home was exciting for all of us.

Once home, normalcy began again immediately with two stinky diapers that Sonja changed while I made dinner. It’s spring again, at least for a day, so I fired up the grill. While I was in Washington, Sonja had texted to ask me if she could open the rose’ in the fridge, but I told her I needed to review it. I felt bad about saying no to her, so I was excited to open the bottle for dinner. It’s one I’d never had: Rose’ from Tempranillo, made by Illahe, one of my favorite Oregonian producers.

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I’ve always appreciated the spirit of ingenuity and creativity that I find in Illahe wines. I wouldn’t expect to see this varietal in the Willamette Valley to begin with, much less to see it turned into a rose’, but here you have it, and it was terrific. A beautifully aromatic nose that was reminiscent of a watermelon jolly rancher and a gorgeous salmon-pink hue follow up with a wine that is everything I want from a rose’. Delicate strawberry and rose petal abound upon the palate, and a faint mineral-saline quality —  perhaps indicative of coastal terroir, gives it a distinctly Provence-like nature. At 12.5% ABV, it is the picture of delicacy. We enjoyed it a great deal. And if you happen to be near Omaha, Illahe will be represented at VinNEBRASKA (.com) in April; I highly recommend you come!

It’s great to have Sonja back with us. After weeks of something other than a true sense of normalcy, with either the entire family on vacation or one of us away for business, I’m looking forward to this weekend and the time to relax together in our hometown. This morning, I’ll make breakfast, and get us back into routine. Tonight promises a Passover Seder, Zooey’s first, and tomorrow is church followed by Easter dinner with the family. It’s going to be a terrific weekend!

Cheers to being together again! Happy Easter, and Pesach Sameach!

Mark

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