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Showing posts with label Valdobbiadene. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valdobbiadene. Show all posts

03 December 2015

Italy: Bottega Prosecco


Or perhaps 'all that glitters is not gold' (read on)... The Bottega winery is found in Bibano di Godega in the Veneto region, a crow-flight to the north of Venice and not far from the pretty town of Conegliano in the (otherwise rather vast) Prosecco zone's epicentre, where there's also a long tradition of making grappa (northern Italy's speciality grape-based spirit that often manages to combine finesse and head-banger). The cellars are housed in the expansive and handsomely renovated 19th century farm-buildings pictured above, and are stalked by 10 hectares of vineyards (25 acres) according to their blurb. The Bottega brand now encompasses additional wines from almost neighbouring Valpolicella and Montalcino in Tuscany following 'recent acquisitions'.
It isn't a small-scale operation either producing '10 million bottles' of fizz, meaning they must buy in grapes as well otherwise the 'math' doesn't add up? Bottega Gold Prosecco, which as you might have guessed comes dressed in a glitzy 24-carat bottle, is obviously an unashamedly gimmicky bit of celeb marketing; but you could see the appeal of having this sitting on your table in a trendy bar or Italian restaurant, and the wine itself is quite attractive although a couple of others in the range (without the Goldfinger touch) are better. Catalyst Brands is the UK agent where these bubblies retail for around £20-£25 a bottle, so they're pretty dear although there are a few festive offers flying around online retail sites at the moment. These Proseccos also come in all sorts of sizes from minis to massive, from jazzy to sober looking... More @ www.bottegagold.com.

Vino Biologico Prosecco DOC 'Extra Dry' ('Quality Aromatic Sparkling Wine', organic, 11% abv) - Elderflower citrus and almond tones, attractively frothy with crisp-ish 'chalky' mouth-feel vs off- to medium-dry finish. Nice fizz although could do with just a little more character.
Fundum 'unfiltered' Prosecco Frizzante Treviso (crown cap, 11% abv) - Cloudy 'real cider' / 'Weizenbier' / 'ginger beer' reminiscent style with flowery grapey nose and yeasty backdrop, fairly dry with lingering yeasty biscuit flavours and crisp elegant finish. Tasty and different.
Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut 2014 - Richer toastier and more 'serious' than the others and 'winier' too, quite dry and crisp with toasted nut and savoury biscuit flavours. Good.
Il Vino dei Poeti Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG 2014 'Extra Dry' (Varieties: Glera 85%, Glera Lunga 10%, Perera 5%; 11.5% abv) - Honeyed, almond biscuit and floral aromas, a touch of crisp bite and some depth of character on the palate; pity though it's not that dry (despite the confusing terminology used for sparkling wines) as those appealing complex flavours end up a tad sweeter and blander on the finish (there's about 17 grams/litre residual sugar in their 'Extra Dry').
Bottega Gold Brut Prosecco DOC Treviso - Enticingly frothy light and elegant, quite good with light floral almond and subtle yeast notes, crisp and refreshing style. Attractive and quaffable even if not exactly super exciting.

15 November 2014

Italy: Nino Franco, Prosecco


This top-notch Prosecco winery isn't far off its 100th birthday and was established by Antonio Franco in Valdobbiadene, right in the beautiful heart of the 'original' production zone marked by often steep hillside vineyards at altitude (hence the snowy shot above), which has recently become a much smaller and more quality-focused sub-zone (Prosecco can be made pretty much anywhere in the Veneto region or virtually the entire northeastern corner of Italy it seems). Nino Franco then expanded the family operation and grandson Primo, who's been in charge for over 30 years, has boosted exports substantially - it shouldn't be too difficult to find their wines in your neck of the woods.
The three tasting-noted below are all made 100% from the Glera variety, the 'old' name for Prosecco which has been re-adopted especially in the Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG zone, to make a point of distinction presumably. They're all produced by the 'charmat', 'cuve close' or, less pretty sounding, 'tank' method, where the second fermentation and lees-ageing take place in a sealed vat, then the wine is cleverly bottled under pressure retaining the natural CO2 bubbles. Franco's sparkling wines just go to show that there's Prosecco and there's Prosecco...
These ones are available in the UK/Ireland from JN Wine, Wine Drop and Sommelier's Choice among others starting at £13.50-£14 (€23) up to £25-ish; or Wine.com and many other outlets in the US (from about $18). Photo copied from www.ninofranco.it.

Rustico NV - lively with lightly toasted almond and yeasty biscuit edges, quite intense fruity vs earthy flavours with long crisp vs toasty finish; very nice fizz.
Vigneto della Riva di San Floriano 2013 - more 'vinous' and concentrated, attractive fruity vs baked bread-y mix of flavours with intense bite and length, lingering oat biscuit notes vs fresh and 'salty'; stylish and elegant.
Grave di Stecca 2010 (old steep vineyard, longer lees ageing, only 7 gr/l residual sugar which is pretty dry) - quite rich and toasty with tangy nutty dry mouth-feel, more serious foodie fizz with lovely rounded vs crisp finish.

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