The rose aroma in wine

The Rose aroma is well loved by many, but one which few can recognize blidly. It is often confused with other flowers and for this reason it is helpful to smell it near the aromas of violet or other flowers.

It is a flower that is widespread in all parts of the world, but which is native to the Mediterranean basin and Asia. Cultivated for millennia both for ornamental purposes and for its perfume, it has been attributed different meanings and is often linked to mythology or spirituality. For example, red roses have become the symbol of eternal love: in Greek mythology, roses were born from the blood that fell from Aphrodite's wounds that she cut while running to the rescue of her beloved Adonis. White roses, on the other hand, are a symbol of purity and innocence: historically used in monasteries to adorn churches and sacred places, they are the flower most associated with the Virgin Mary.

The scent of the rose is due to a mixture of aromatic molecules whose composition changes according to the type of rose and its "freshness". The molecules that most contribute to its characteristic scent are linalool, geraniol and phenylethyl alcohol.

The rose aroma is a popular descriptor in tastings because it is very marked, it can be found in both red and white wines and is considered one of the most classic examples of primary varietal aroma. It is “varietal” because the linalool and geraniol molecules are present in high concentrations in some specific grape varieties: for example in Moscato and Gewurztraminer. It is “primary” because, unlike some varietal aromas that appear after fermentation, this aroma is already well perceptible in the grapes mentioned and in the must.

Moreover, linalool is a component of the scent of other white flowers (lime and honeysuckle) and other red flowers (lilac and broom). And it is therefore at the base of the floral notes that we perceive in many white and red wines.

Linalool and geraniol are molecules that develop frequently in grapes exposed to the sun, but they struggle to develop in grapes grown in climates that are too hot. Temperate but sunny cultivation areas are therefore the most suitable for the development of the rose aroma.

The hint of rose, in addition to being a specific and highly recognizable “descriptor” of some wines obtained from Moscato and Gewurztraminer grapes, enriches the bouquet of many other wines in a lighter form as well. The red wines that best express this scent are Barolo (Nebbiolo grape), Merlot, Valpolicella (Corvina grape and others) and Aglianico.

Discover the rose aroma in the Red Wine Aromas collection here.


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