Prosecco


The title of this post needs no elaboration, but I’ll inform you that prices range from $7.50 to $20. It’s a diverse group of wines. Seven from France; 6 California; 5 Italy; 2 each Argentina, Australia, Chile and Oregon; 1 each Bulgaria, Germany, Portugal and South Africa. (Welcome, Bulgaria!) By genre or hue: 1 sparkling wine; 3 rosé; 10 red and 16 white. As a matter of fact, the 30 wines on this roster would make a great restaurant wine list. So, enjoy! In moderation, of course.

With one exception, these wines were samples for review.
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Albert Bichot Bourgogne Aligoté 2015, Burgundy, France. Excellent. About $16.
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Amalaya Malbec 2016, Salta, Mendoza, Argentina. With 10 percent tannat, 5 petit verdot. Excellent. About $16.
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Domaine Bousquet Gaia Tupungato White Blend 2016, Mendoza, Argentina. 50 percent chardonnay, 35 pinot gris, 15 sauvignon blanc. Excellent. About $18.
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Domaine Boyar Traminer 2016, Thracian Valley, Bulgaria. Very Good+. About $11.
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Calcu Reserva Especial Rosé 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile. 90 percent malbec, 10 percent petit verdot. Excellent. About $13.
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Canevel Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene de Cartizze, nv, Veneto, Italy. Excellent. About $18.

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CK Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc 2017, California. Very Good+. About $7.
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Fossil Point Pinot Noir 2016, Edna Valley, California. Excellent. About $20.

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Garofoli Macrina 2017, Le Marche, Italy. 100 percent verdicchio. Excellent. About $14.
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Grochau Cellars Melon d’Bourgogne 2015, Willamette Valley, Oregon. 175 cases. Excellent. About $18.
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Heinz Eifel Riesling Kabinett 2017, Mosel, Germany. Very Good+. About $12.

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Inama Vin Soave 2017, Soave Classico, Veneto, Italy. Excellent. About $15.
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Jim Barry “The Cover Drive” Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Coonawarra, Australia. Excellent. About $20.

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Justin Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Central Coast, California. Excellent. About $16.
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Les Hauts de Lagarde 2015, Bordeaux blanc, France. 60 percent sauvignon blanc, 40 percent semillon. Excellent. About $14.
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Domaine Lafond Roc-Épine 2017, Tavel, France. Excellent. About $19.
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The Larsen Projekt Grenache Rosé 2016, North Coast, California. Excellent. About $18.

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Left Coast Cellars “The Orchard” Pinot Gris 2016, Willamette Valley, Oregon. Excellent. About $18.
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Marchesi di Gresy Monte Aribaldo 2016, Dolcetto d’Alba, Italy. Excellent. About $18.

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Monte da Pecequina 2015, Alentejo, Portugal. 25 percent touriga nacional, 23 percent syrah, 22 aragonez, 20 alicante bouschet, 10 cabernet sauvignon. Excellent. About $19.
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Paul Blanck Pinot Blanc 2016, Alsace, France. Excellent. About $16.
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Paul Jaboulet Aîné Le Paradou 2015, Beaume-de-Venise, France. 75 percent grenache, 25 percent syrah. Excellent. About $16.
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Pewsey Vale Dry Riesling 2016, Eden Valley, Australia. Excellent. About $18.
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Poliziano Lohsa 2015, Morellino di Scansano, Italy. 85 percent sangiovese, 15 percent ciliegiolo. Excellent. About $15.
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Romain Chamiot Apremont 2016, Vin de Savoie, France. 100 percent jacquere grapes. Excellent. About $18.
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Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Excellent. About $14.

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Steele Wines Pacini Vineyard Zinfandel 2015, Mendocino, California. Excellent. About $20.
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Veramonte Carmenere 2017, Colchagua Valley, Chile. Very Good+. About $11.
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Yves Guegniard Domaine de la Bergerie La Cerisaie 2016, Anjou, France. 80 percent cabernet franc, 20 percent cabernet sauvignon. Excellent. About $18.
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Zocker “Paragon Vineyard” Grüner Veltliner 2016, Edna Valley, California. Excellent. About $20.
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If I say that Prosecco, the ubiquitous sparkling wine of the Veneto, has areas where the soils and vineyards are considered of better quality, thus theoretically resulting in better products, My Readers might respond, “Are you kidding, F.K.? Prosecco is Prosecco. Let’s not complicate matters with levels of quality.” Pause a moment, though, because what I say is true. The hillside vineyards between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiandene generally produce higher quality Prosecco — labeled Prosecco Superiore — than the over-cropped vineyards of the flat-lands; the names of those towns, or at least Valdobbiadene, will also appear on the label. If you have consumed the bland and lackluster fizz that passes for Prosecco in most quarters, you will be happy to encounter Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiandene DOCG. Though the Champagne method of second fermentation in the bottle is allowed for this category. most PSCV is produced in the typical Charmat technique of second fermentation in steel tanks. The grape is glera (formerly called prosecco), though other varieties are allowed, even chardonnay and pinot noir; the producers I encounter tend to stick to the traditional glera grape.

These wines were samples for review.
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Bartolomiol “Prior” 2017, Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene. 12% alc. Very pale platinum blond, lively effervescence; smoke, steel, seashell; clean, crisp and elegant; very dry, unusually savory for Prosecco, with a touch of loam in the background; altogether, though, the epitome of delicacy and limestone transparency. Excellent. About $18.
Imported by DVM/Domenico Valentino, NY; Wine Warehouse, Calif.
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BiancaVigna Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene Brut 2016. 11.5% alc. Pale gold hue, with a shimmer of tiny bubbles; quite steely, but with delicate touches of apple skin, almond blossom and spiced pear; sleek and lithe on the palate; brisk acidity and a suave limestone finish. Very Good+. About $18.
Imported by Indigenous Selections, Fort Lauderdale.
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Canevel Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene di Cartizze. 11.5% alc. Cartizze is a particular hill in the region thought to produce grapes of superior quality. Very pale gold color with a steady stream of bubbles; smoke and steel, acacia and almond skin, hints of apples and pears; silken texture animated by vivid acidity; an edge of limestone prevails from mid-palate through the finish. A superior Prosecco. Excellent. About $18.
Selected Estates of Europe/ Maritime Wine Trading Collective.
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December brings a host of entertaining possibilities, from dinner parties to open houses to receptions to grand balls. Whether the event is intimate or riotous, here’s a pretty sparkling wine to serve as aperitif, as constant refreshment, as accompaniment to a light meal. The Perlage Riva Moretta Valdobbiadene Prosecco is a single-vineyard Prosecco produced from glera grapes. The vines, some dating back 55 years, are grown on cool hillside vineyards farmed organically. The estate, which has been owned by the Nardi family for over a century, lies in the commune of Farra di Soligo — pop. just under 8,000 — located 50 kilometers northwest of Venice. This Prosecco is vino frizzante rather than spumante, meaning that it’s fizzy rather than aggressively sparkling. The Perlage Riva Moretta Valdobbiadene Prosecco offers a very pale straw-gold hue and — as implied by the term frizzante — a gentle stream of tiny glinting bubbles, enough to tickle the nose and palate intriguingly. The aura is pears, apples and heather, with notes of smoke and steel; this delicate sparkling wine delivers a lithe and supple texture, a hint of sweetness at the beginning that flows into flinty dryness on the palate, and ethereal hints of almond blossom and orange zest on the limestone-flecked finish. 11.5 percent alcohol. Charming and delightful. Very Good+. About $13, meaning Buy by the Case.

Chartrand Imports, Rockland, Maine. A sample for review.

A search of the archives for this blog reveals that in the 11 years of its existence I have never mentioned the proseccos of Mionetto. Partly this circumstance illustrates the old saw about familiarity — first expressed by Chaucer — though I would say that contempt is a rather strong word here. After all, Mionetto practically created the market for prosecco in America with its, um, familiar “Il” brand. Partly, also, though, is the fact that over the years Mionetto didn’t keep up with the competition, being surpassed in quality by such producers as Bisol and Adami. The company is striving to set matters right, however, and now offers proseccos with regional and vineyard designations and even an organic prosecco. I recently sat down and tasted a range of proseccos from Mionetto and bring one to My Readers on this April 17 as the Wine of the Day. Remember that the grape for prosecco is glera and that the sparkling wine from Italy’s Veneto region in made in the Charmat method of second fermentation in tank. The Mionetto Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene Extra Dry displays a very pale straw-gold hue, enlivened by a steady stream of tiny bubbles, and enticing aromas of roasted lemon, spiced pear, green apple and apple blossom encompassed by a definite steely aspect; that mineral quality washes the palate in a tide of scintillating limestone enlivened by clean, bright acidity. It’s truly bone-dry and partakes of a structure as delicate as fine bone china and tiny, translucent seashells; the finish brings in a note of bracing salinity and grapefruit bitterness. 11 percent alcohol. A delightful sparkler, perfectly appropriate for sipping on the porch or patio or in some bosky dell on a picnic. Excellent. About $20.

Imported by Mionetto USA, White Plains, N.Y.

It rained like crazy here this morning, but then the downpour retreated, the clouds blew away to the east and the sun emerged, happy and vovetijolly and warm(ish). A perfect afternoon for sitting on the back porch and sipping a glass of Prosecco, along with a handful of almonds, a few slivers of Serrano ham and a small bowl of plump green olives. If you grow weary, a-weary of Prosecco that comes across all kissy-face floral and fruity and then dies away in the glass, here’s the antidote. The Voveti Prosecco is made from 100 percent glera grapes grown in the Prosecco region of the Veneto, primarily in the privileged spot called Valdobbiadene; the grapes are trucked in small boxes to the winery in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and the sparkling wine is produced there in the Charmat fashion of second fermentation in tank. In fact, from grape to glass takes 12 months, so we’re not talking Champagne, n’est-ce pas? What we are talking, instead, is charm and delicacy — and tiny glinting, surging bubbles — married to a steely, limestone-infused structure that supports subtle notes of green apple, smoke and almond blossom, lime peel, jasmine and seashell, this panoply melded with the tensile energy of brilliant acidity. There it is, and why should we ask for anything more, given the price and the intention. 11 percent alcohol. Very Good+. About $17, often discounted to $13 or $14.

A sample from the local wholesaler.

There’s Prosecco, and then there’s the — don’t try to say this all in one breath — Maschio dei Cavalieri Rive di Colbertaldo 2014, cavalieriValdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, made from 100 percent glera grapes, though Italian wine regulations allow for up to 15 percent other grapes in a blend. It is not fashioned in the traditional Champagne method of second fermentation in the bottle, most Proseccos being made in the Charmat process of second fermentation in tank. Maschio dei Cavalieri tells us, however, that they accomplish the alcoholic and carbon dioxide fermentation simultaneously. OK. The Maschio dei Cavalieri Rive di Colbertaldo 2014 displays a pale straw yellow hue and a fervent rush of refined bubbles; this is a fresh and clean sparkling wine, offering gentle aromas of jasmine, green apple and pear, lime and lemongrass, smoke and steel. It’s crisp and lively on the palate, bringing in flavors of roasted lemon and melon, while at the core a cloud-like tenderness of texture prevails. Quite dry and more invigorating as the moments pass, this sparkling wine concludes with a fairly austere flinty finish. 11.5 percent alcohol. While the 2014 is now two years old, I recommend it for the sense of burnish and nuance that it reveals; drink through 2017. Excellent. About $20, representing Great Value.

Imported by Cru Artisan Wines, Old Brookville, N.Y., a division of Banfi Vintners. A sample for review.

Here’s a refreshing way to end the week or start it, depending on your point of view of Sunday’s boscofunction. The Bosco di Gica Brut, Valdobbiandene Prosecco Superiore, from the almost century-old Adriano Adami estate, adds some three to five percent chardonnay to its regulation glera grape, the one we used to call the prosecco grape but no longer. (How often in the dim past did I write “Prosecco is the name of the grape and the product”?) The grapes were grown on steep terraced hillsides of fairly shallow soil, the vineyards generally facing south; this is north of Venice. Prosecco is made, of course, not in the “Champagne method” of second fermentation in the bottle but in the Charmat process in which the second fermentation that produces the bubbles, occurs in steel pressure tanks. Whatever the method, the Bosco di Gica Brut is indeed a superior Prosecco, offering a very pale gold hue and a steady stream of glinting bubbles that’s more a persistent fizz than a propulsive froth; still, it’s quite pretty. Aromas of apples and pears, acacia and almond blossom develop hints of lime peel and almond skin; on the palate, this sparkler is delicate, pert and lively, a tickle for the tongue, made intriguing by its briny seashell minerality and pleasing for its deft balance and integration. 11 percent alcohol. Drink up and enjoy. Excellent. About $18.

Imported by Dalla Terra Winery Direct, Napa, Calif. A sample for review.

Tenuta Filodora is a 37-acre vineyard located in the town of Miane, in the heart of the Prosecco DOCG area, about halfway between Valdobiaddene and Conegliano. It’s from this vineyard that filodoraTommasi, a stalwart of the Veneto region since 1902, derives the glera grapes for its Prosecco. However, because the wine is bottled outside the DOCG region, it is entitled only to a DOC classification. Not to worry! The Tommasi Filodora Prosecco is one of the best around. The color is the palest of pale gold hues, animated by a torrent of upward-surging tiny platinum bubbles. At first, this sparkling wine is all smoke and steel, and then it opens to glimmers of green apple and peach, hints of roasted lemon and baked pear, a touch of acacia. Bright acidity (and the persistent effervescence) keep it lively and dry on the palate, where it partakes of a seriously serious aura of flint and limestone minerality, all hurtling toward a finish pert with grapefruit rind and almond skin. 11.5 percent alcohol. Totally charming. Excellent. About $18.

Imported by Vintus LLC, Pleasantville N.Y. A sample for review.

Bisol_CredeValdobbiadeneProseccoSuperioreDOCG_bottleThumb
The Bisol Crede Brut is consistently one of the best Prosecco sparkling wines to come from that region in the Veneto. The designation is Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, the hillside location — Valdobbiadene — being one of the prime vineyard areas for the glera grape. This is a blend of 85 percent glera, 10 percent pinot bianco and five percent verdiso grapes. It was made in the Charmat or autoclave method of second fermentation induced in stainless steel tanks. The vintage — 2014 — is indicated in small type on the back label. The color is very pale gold, animated by a whirling swarm of tiny glinting bubbles. This sparkling wine is all smoke and steel, green apples and pears, with notes of acacia and heather and a snap of flint. It’s very dry, offering a lithe limestone-flecked structure that chimes with bright acidity and a finish that’s vibrant with sea-shell minerality and salinity. 11.5 percent alcohol. Tasty and elegant together. Excellent. About $25.

Vias Imports, New York. A sample for review.