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Late Bloomer

New Year's resolutions are just around the corner. One local wine, Late Bloomer, may be able to help if your goal for 2013 is to support local wine producers, drink lower-alcohol wine or be inspired to start an encore career.

"I think it's good to serve a lower-alcohol wine on New Year's Eve, so guests won't regret anything they say or do at midnight," says Marilyn Hawkins, an Ashland marketing expert and one of the label's owners. "And lots of young retireds love the concept of Late Bloomer. Many of them understand they now get to have an Act II in life. Better a late bloomer than no bloomer at all."

Late Bloomer (www.latebloomerwine.com) was conceived by Hawkins and her partners, Medford winemaker Linda Donovan of Pallet Wine Co. and Selma grape grower Martha Miller, who harvests gewürztraminer and other varietals from her 200-acre Three Creeks Ranch.

The trio's mission is to offer affordable wine with distinct varietal character made from locally grown grapes.

The new label's first release is the 2011 Dry Gewürztraminer ($9), a white wine with 11 1/2 percent alcohol that is true to the nonsweet German version of the grape.

The wine, an alternative to chardonnay or moscato, also can help with a New Year's resolution to eat healthy. It pairs well with chicken, turkey, white fish, light cheeses, salads and vegetables.

Other single varietals and blends will be added to the Late Bloomer lineup in the future. The label sports an image of a pink-blossomed magnolia tree shedding its leaves and showing new blossoms.

Only 450 cases were produced, and to keep costs down, the wine only is sold directly to customers through Pallet Wine Co., 340 N. Fir St., Medford (call 541-779-1788 for hours) or Hawkins, who can be reached at 541-552-9922 or mhawkins@prhawk.com.

— Janet Eastman