Showing posts with label Glera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glera. Show all posts

Monday, November 15, 2021

Sweet Bubbles Of Italy!

The Acquesi winery is located in the Piedmont region of Italy.  Their sparkling wine house, Cuvage, utilizes the method of making bubbles that was devised in 1895 by Federico Martinotti.  

The Acquesi Asti Spumante is from the Friuli appellation of Piedmont, and is made from 100% Moscato Bianco di Canelli grapes.  The label is pretty and the wine's alcohol content clocks in at only 7% abv, with a retail price of $17.

This sparkler has fun, frothy bubbles which disappear quickly, so enjoy them while they are there.  The nose is beautiful - peaches, pears, white flowers - very aromatic.  On the palate, a trip to sweetsville awaits.  All the fruit mentioned is there plus a slight touch of Meyer lemon.  There's nothing to think about here - just sip and enjoy.  If you are looking for a crowd pleasing aperitif for holiday dinners, this is a fine choice. 


The Ca' di Prata Brut Prosecco comes from the village of Prata di Pordenone, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, Prosecco DOC.  This bubbly was also made using the Martinotti method.  The grapes which went into it are Glera (85%) and the remainder is attributed only as "other."  Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks for this non-vintage wine.  Alcohol tips 11% abv and the retail price is $16.

In the glass, this Prosecco has a pale yellow tint.  The bubbles froth up nicely, but completely disappear almost immediately.  The subdued nose features mainly citrus and minerals, with a slight floral note adding some depth.  The mineral-driven palate is clean and fresh and has a nice sweetness on the back end.  The acidity is lively and adds some versatility.


Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Three Great Proseccos

The Italian sparkling wine known as Prosecco dates back to the 14th century, as made in the town of Prosecco in the district of Trieste.  The Prosecco DOC was not established until 2009.  Rosé was not permitted until 2020.

I had the pleasure of attending a virtual event during National Prosecco Week, hosted by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, also known as the World Wine Guys.  While presenting an overview of Prosecco's history, the pair identified what it is that attracts so many people to the bubbly wine: "Prosecco is fun."

There was much more to the event, but that's the takeaway, in a nutshell.  They also mentioned that real Prosecco is identified by the blue seal on the neck of the bottle, and urged consumers to accept no substitutes.

Those of us tasting along with the World Wine Guys sampled six outstanding Proseccos, three brut styles and three rosés.  We covered the pink ones in the previous article, now the non-rosé bottles.

The La Marca Prosecco DOC is made entirely from the expressive Glera grape, grown in the hillside vineyards of Italy's Prosecco capital of Treviso.  The wine records an alcohol level of 11% abv and retails for $16.

This Italian bubbly produces a thick, festive foam.  The nose brings a floral element to match up with lemon, lime and grapefruit aromas.  On the palate, a nice apple flavor meets the citrus.  It is a sweet taste and the finish follows the same way.  Fun and frolicking Prosecco.

The Villa Sandi Il Fresco Prosecco DOC Brut is also from Treviso, about a hundred communities in northeastern Italy which all come together to make this festive style of wine.  The winery asserts that the soil is influenced by the Piave River.  It contains a lot of pebbles, stones, sand and some clay.  This non-vintage wine is made from 85% Glera grapes while the remainder is a mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc.  It holds the typical alcohol level of 11% abv and a retail price around $15.

This Prosecco gives a nice froth which dissipates quickly.  The pale gold-green wine gives aromas of apples and apricots, laced with citrus minerals.  The palate shows an earthy display of green apples and a slight cherry flavor.  It drinks a bit more seriously than Prosecco has a reputation for.  It's fun, to be sure, but its complexity brings the wine to another level.

The Valdo Marca Oro Prosecco DOC Brut is all Glera grapes from Valdobbiadene, crafted by winemaker Gianfranco Zanon.  The wine spent three months in Charmat aging and another month in the bottle.  Alcohol is 11% abv and it generally sells for $14.

This Prosecco carries a light yellow tint and aromas of apples, pears and peaches - dressed up in citrus minerality.  The bubbles disappear completely inside of a minute.  On the palate, a racy acidity will be quite noticeable if you have bitten your tongue lately.  The red apple flavor joins the stone fruit and cherry in a very pleasant combination.  The finish is medium lengthy and fully enjoyable, as it brings back that minerality. 


Monday, August 2, 2021

Three Prosecco Rosé Wines

The Italian sparkling wine known as Prosecco dates back to the 14th century, as made in the town of Prosecco in the district of Trieste.  The Prosecco DOC was not established until 2009.  Rosé was not permitted until 2020.

I had the pleasure of attending a virtual event during National Prosecco Week, hosted by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, also known as the World Wine Guys.  While presenting an overview of Prosecco's history, the pair identified what it is that attracts so many people to the bubbly wine: "Prosecco is fun."

There was much more to the event, but that's the takeaway, in a nutshell.  They also mentioned that real Prosecco is identified by the blue seal on the neck of the bottle, and urged consumers to accept no substitutes.

Those of us tasting along with the World Wine Guys sampled six outstanding Proseccos, three brut styles and three rosés.  First, the pink.

The Mionetto Prosecco DOC Rosé Millesimato is produced under the umbrella of Freixenet.  This one was made using grapes from the 2020 vintage, 90% Glera and 10% Pinot Nero fruit.  Those grapes were soft-pressed and left on the skins for just a few days.  The bubbles come from the Charmat method of secondary fermentation, in a pressurized tank.  Alcohol is quite light, at just 11% abv.

This Prosecco is a rich salmon pink in the glass, tending toward orange.  The nose is full of bright red fruit - cherries, dried apricots and lemons.  The froth dissipates rather quickly, and the palate is as cheerful as Prosecco is expected to be.  Berries, citrus and a touch of honey make merry on the taste buds in this bone-dry bubbly.  The citrus lasts longest on the finish.  

The Torresella Prosecco DOC Rosé is another extra dry pink Prosecco under an umbrella, this time that of Santa Margherita.  The Torresella Winery website offers that the winery is located "Italy's eastern Veneto region, an area of gentle hills and broad plains along the Adriatic Sea, about midway between Venice and Trieste."

This wine is made entirely from Glera grapes which were grown in Treviso and Venezia.  The wine was made sparkling through the Charmat method, which has the secondary fermentation take place in a tank, under pressure.  Alcohol sits at 11.5% abv.

This light pink sparkling wine has a nice froth in the glass, which dissipates quickly.  Aromas of strawberry, cherry and a touch of toast lie on the nose, while the palate brings some citrus and stone fruit to the party.  The finish is medium length and carries with it a bit of earthiness.

The Masottina Conegliano Prosecco DOC Rosé Brut is produced by the third generation of the Dal Bianco family.  The wine is 100% Glera grapes, grown in the hills of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore.  Winemaker Adriano Dal Bianco carries his family's tradition well.  The wine has alcohol at 11.5% abv and it retails for $24.

This pink Prosecco smells like red ripe cherries, with more of the same on the palate.  Flavors of citrus join in, lime and grapefruit mainly.  The bubbles are generous, but fade quickly.  They are fun while they last, though.  


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Three Proseccos

Ca di Prata Prosecco makes Italian sparkling wines which are imported and distributed by Mack & Schühle, a German company with a U.S. base of operations in Miami.  I was provided with three different Proseccos for review, which are listed below.  

People sometimes don't think that wine importers are very important, that all they do is have crates of wine shipped in from who-knows-where to be peddled on the shelves in the lower reaches.  The best importers are those with a nose for wine, who can sniff out good stuff through endless trials, then bring the product to us.  Mack and Schühle are not only importers, they also produce wine in Italy and Spain and distribute other wines globally.

The Ca di Prata Prosecco DOC Brut is made from 85% Glera grapes and 15% Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay.  Alcohol stays low at 11% abv and the wine retails for $16.

This wine is fun in a bottle.  The apple aromas on the nose translate directly to apple flavors on the palate.  The bubbles are lively and festive, which is about all you can say about bubbles.  It's great as an aperitif, and it was great with some slightly peppery ginger cookies.  Enjoy!

The Ca di Prata Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry is also 85% Glera and 15% other varieties.  Still a low alcohol reading at 11% abv the retail is a bit higher, at $18.

Hints of apple, citrus and a floral note make the nose, while the bubbles are frothy and fairly quick to dissipate.  The palate shows more minerality than the DOC bottling, and a more complex flavor profile which features earth, spice and Meyer lemon.  The minerals stick around the longest after the sip.  I snacked with the wine, and it went well with pretzel bits stuffed with peanut butter, although it went better with some mixed olives.

The Ca di Prata Prosecco DOC Rosé Extra Dry Millesimato is also 85% Glera, but with the remaining 15% composed of Pinot Nero.  Millesimato also means that at least 85% of the grapes came from the same vintage, in this case 2019.  Alcohol remains at 11% abv, and the retail sticker splits the difference at $17.

This pink bubbly offers a ton of froth, which dissipates rather quickly.  The nose shows strawberries, cherries and red apples.  The palate is fruity and fun, and there is more than enough acidity to make this a refreshing sip or a nice wine to pair with a salad or seafood dish.  It’s also great with aperitif munchies or a cheese and salami plate.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Two "Cru" Proseccos From Valdobbiadene

Virtual wine tasting events are no stranger to me, especially in the era of COVID-19.  Get the box, open the box, log on and taste from home.  No social distancing to strain the process, no mask needed.  I was invited to take part in a Zoom gathering recently along with two dozen other wine writers.  

Most of the wines in the virtual events have achieved the Tre Bicchieri - three glasses - status of Gambero Rosso International, the wine guide’s highest accolade.  The interactive event was hosted by Lorenzo Ruggeri, the wine guide's international editor, with comments along the two-hour journey from each winery’s representative.  Ruggeri spoke from Rome at sunset, which was mid-morning in Los Angeles.

Biancavigna Conegliano Valdobbiadene Rive di Soligo Extra Brut 2019

The Rive di Soligo estate vineyard sits at an elevation of more than 1200 feet, in the hills of Conegliano, Valdobbiaddene, in San Gallo near Soligo.  Indigenous Selections says the "rive" refers to the steepness of the land, some at a 70% slope.  They call it, unofficially, a Cru Prosecco, with the Glera grapes grown on 25-year-old vines planted in the rocky, clay soil.  

BiancaVigna is owned by Elena Moschetta, with winemaking duties handled by her brother Enrico Moschetta.  Elena, who spoke in the virtual event, hadn't intended to make a career of wine, but she eventually answered the door when her destiny knocked on it.  Alcohol for the wine comes in at an easy 11.5% abv, with an average retail price of $14.

The wine has a pale yellow color and smells of apples and citrus.  The bubbles are frothy and reconstitute nicely with a swirl of the glass.  The palate brings a healthy dose of lemon and lime, with green apples also appearing in the mix.  The acidity is wonderful, adding to the pleasure of the sip and allowing for a variety of pairing options.


Borgoluce Valdobbiadene Rive di Collalto Extra Brut
2019

The Borgoluce winery was founded in 938.  Today's Proprietors are quite distant from the era of three-digit years.  They are a mother and her daughters - Trinidad, Giuliana, Ninni & Caterina Collalto.  Winemaker Elisa Confortin rounds out the female team to create this 2019 Rive di Collalto Extra Brut Prosecco Superiore, made from Glera grapes grown on the steepest slopes of the Collalto family's 160 acres of vineyards.  The wine was made sparkling through the Charmat method.  Ninni Collalto Facchinetti spoke during the event and represented her winery in a most excellent way.

2019 is the first vintage of Rive "Extra Brut;" which kicks in at an alcohol level of 11.5% abv.  The winery says their vineyard's soils are clay with a high concentration of calcium carbonate, on the steepest part of hill, at the southern edge of Valdobbiadene near the Piave river.  The wine was aged on the lees - the spent yeast cells - for five months.  The retail price is about $24.

The Borgoluce people say this Prosecco takes time in the glass to give up its full expression, but I like the citrusy, yeasty nose right away.  Lemon and minerals dominate the nose, while the acidity provides a ton of refreshment.  It paired well with a vegetable korma as well as an avocado and pepper sandwich.



Monday, August 5, 2019

Sweet Italian Sparkling Wine

This Italian bottle of bubbles, imported by the Royal Wine Company, is Bartenura Demi Sec, which means it is semi-dry.  It's made from a blend of Prosecco grapes, including Glera.  The limited edition, non-vintage, kosher wine carries a low alcohol level of only 10% abv and retails for about $23. 

The Italian Bartenura winery was named for a 15th century rabbi near Forli who was known as The Bartenura for his commentary on Jewish law.  Their wines are kosher.

This Italian sparkler is basically an even sweeter Prosecco than Prosecco.  The nose offers pretty, white flowers and ripe, yellow peaches.  On the palate, stone fruit holds court in a low alcohol - 10% abv - context, with easy acidity and quickly dissipating bubbles.  It's a summer sipper, and a good one at that.


Monday, June 17, 2019

Prosecco: Fun, Festive, Fruity

Vino dei Fratelli translates to "wine of the brothers," those bros being Castor and Pollux.  Legend has it that they were made immortal by Zeus and now reside in the night sky as the constellation Gemini.  They appear on an ancient Roman coin which adorns the bottle.

The label covers several winemaking families across Italy, in areas like Collio, Chianti, Abruzzo, Langhe and Venice.

The Vino dei Fratelli "extra dry" Prosecco was made from 100% Glera grapes grown in Italy's Veneto region and harvested in 2016.  Fermentation took place in stainless steels tanks, with no introduction of oak.  Alcohol is predictably low at 11% abv and the wine sells for $18.

The Vino dei Fratelli Prosecco pours up with nice bubbles which quickly dissipate.  The nose is a riot of apples, flowers, lemons and limes.  The palate is fruity and clean with a brisk acidity that lends to the wine's festive nature.  Citrus on the finish leaves a great taste in the mouth.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Kosher Italian Sparkler

Here's a little sparkler from Italy, which lands on the sweet side, and is kosher.

The Italian Bartenura winery was named for a 15th century rabbi near Forli who was known as The Bartenura for his commentary on Jewish law. 

The Glera and Moscato grapes for the Bartenura Demi-Sec reportedly came from "all over the greatest regions of Italy," which usually means the advantage of location is taken away in favor of more affordable fruit.  The wine has an easy-drinking 10% abv number and sells for $24, a little pricey considering a good prosecco is half that cost.  The winery seems to hang their hat on a blue-bottle Moscato, which is eye catching and likely on the sweet side, too.

The bubbles are cheery enough despite their quick disappearance. The nose is floral, and that's an understatement.  Bouquets of flowers are in this bouquet.  On the sip, things only get better and sweeter.  It's not sugar overload, though.  It's a nice, sweet, flirty, pleasant sweetness - not for dessert, but for anytime.


Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter

Monday, March 19, 2018

Spumante Surprise

If you are anything like me - God help ya - you may be a tad surprised to hear the name Santa Margherita and not hear Pinot Grigio immediately afterward.  I was not so surprised to find the Italian winery making other wine styles.  Their Chianti is on the shelf at the supermarket, too.  There's a marketing push behind the company's sparkling rosé, as I was supplied with a sample.  So, you might expect to see it in the wine aisle soon, too. 

Santa Margherita's vineyards originated eight decades ago in the Veneto region.  Now they also raise grapes in Alto Adige and Tuscany. 

Santa Margherita Vino Spumante Rosé

The Santa Margherita Vino Spumante Rosé hits only 11.5% abv and sells for around 20 bucks.  It's an interesting rosé, because it's not made by limiting the skin contact to get pink.  It's made by blending white grapes with white.  The mix is 55% Chardonnay and 40% Glera grapes with a 5% splash of Malbec.  The grapes came from a hilly area of Treviso and an Eastern area in Veneto - the far northwestern corner of Italy.

This wine has frothy bubbles that disappear in an instant.  The nose comes on like a basket of cherries and strawberries, with a strong earthy streak through the middle of it.  It's dry on the palate with a tingly fruit presence and a nice acidity that will pair well with food.  The earthiness lingers on the finish.  If you drink Prosecco for your bubbly fun, you should try this lovely pink sparkler.


Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter

Monday, April 7, 2014

Going Italian At Whole Foods: Presto Prosecco

Attention Whole Foods shoppers - through April, Whole Foods Market throws the WFM spotlight on Italian wines at great prices.  The grocery chain is also hosting a pair of virtual tasting events to help spread the word about their great Italian value wines.  You can get the details on the wines and the April 10th virtual tasting event on Twitter here.

You can search the hashtag #WFMWine on Twitter to see how much fun we all had on the previous virtual wine tasting on March 13th.  We hope you can join us on Twitter on April 10th!

Today we sample one of the wines to be featured on the April tasting event.


Twitter Tastings

Thursday March 13, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT:

Banfi Principessa Gavia Gavi 
Ruffino Orvieto Classico
Gran Passione Rosso
Donnafugata Sedàra

Thursday April 10, 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT:

Presto Prosecco
Caposaldo Pinot Grigio
Monrosso Chianti
Verrazzano Rosso

Presto Prosecco $10.99

Treviso is quite a city.  The Venetian town is not only the birthplace of Prosecco, the Ialian sparkling wine, but it also gave us tiramisu.  That's a legacy if I ever saw one.

Prosecco - made from the Glera grape - was first written about in the 16th century, so I don't know how much I can add to the knowledge base here.  It was greatly admired by Pliny the Elder, way back when he was known simply as Pliny.  He knew the wine as Pucinum, preceding its name change.

Prosecco is Italian sparkling wine.  It is made in a different way than Champagne and other sparklers, which undergo a secondary fermentation in the bottle.  Lacking this, there is an accent on fruit and minerals, with no yeasty element found in methode champagnoise wines.  It's Champagne without the serious.  This fun bubbly carries an 11% alcohol number and a price tag of $10.99 at Whole Foods.


The Presto Prosecco is lightly tinted, but shows a delightful nose of flowers, green apples and limes.  There is a green undertone to the aromas that is very fresh, like the smell of a broken green twig.  Flavors fall into line similarly, with apples and citrus fronting the display.  The acidity is a laser beam and the finish is light and crisp.  The fizziness dissipates quickly, it stays festive long enough for a toast to a beautiful spring day.


Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter


Monday, June 4, 2012

Whole Foods Wine: Summer Twitter Tasting #1


The folks at Whole Foods Market have a popular series of Twitter Tasting events designed to show off the wines offered in their chain of groceries.  The Whole Foods wine buyers and some local stores take part, but mostly the gatherings consist of a bunch of social media addicts who love wine - good people like you and me.

Their Twitter Tastings about their line of Spanish wines were quite enjoyable, and just last week the same venue was used to expose Whole Foods’ wines of summer.  They have a top ten list of summer favorites, and three of the wines were the topic of the May 31, 2012 event.  Another trio will be sipped and discussed on July 12, 2012 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CT.  If you want to take part, pick up the wines and log on at that time.  Use the hashtag #WFMwine.  We’ll be waiting for you.

There was a lot of very satisfied tweeting about the three wines tasted for the most recent event.  A lot of tweeters found all three to be of high quality at a reasonable price.

Mionetto Prosecco is made from organically-grown Glera grapes, which were known as Prosecco until a few years ago.  The name of the grape was changed to help protect the name of the Prosecco D.O.C.  The sparkling wine has only an 11% alcohol content and less than 1% residual sugar.  The winery advises serving it refrigerator-cold, which is a lot colder than I like to serve wine.  They recommend Mionetto Prosecco as a base for Bellinis and other sparkling wine cocktails.

I found the nose a little hard to reach - that happens to me a lot with very cold wine - but minerals and lemon lime did come through for me.  On the palate, the toasty aspect of the fruit was more pronounced than I had anticipated.  It wasn’t as sweet as I had thought it might be, either.  Apples and citrus are in front, with a gentle earthiness riding over the sweetness of the fruit.  Minerals abound amid a wonderful acidity.  The medium finish really holds that minerality.  On Twitter, @WineHarlots liked it a lot.  I know that @WineHarlots tend to love that which sparkles, they also have a discerning palate I can trust.

Pratsch Grüner Veltliner 2011 is another organic wine.  The Pratsch winery is in Austria, northeast of Vienna.  This wine also presents an easy-drinking abv number of 12%.  On the Austrian scale of wine quality it is Qualitätswein.  The Austrian and German quality scale is as challenging a topic as the Italian D.O.C. system, so I won’t pretend to be an authority on it.  As I understand, Qualitätswein means the grapes used in the wine were harvested somewhat overripe.  This could result in a late-harvest type of sweetness, but in this case it does not.

The Pratsch Gruner is very pale and has a nose of lemons and wet rocks.  On the palate it’s very smooth - almost too smooth.  I would like to have a little more acidity, but the smells and flavors are great.  Green apples and minerals are most notable, and the minerals are all over the finish.  Chill this wine for a summer sipper.

On Twitter, @SomeGrapes, @DeniseFraser, @joewinetraveler and others commented on how nice they found the acidity, directly contradicting my impression.  @WineFoodTravel pointed out there’s a hint of cucumber, which I had not noticed until it was pointed out.

Tormaresca Neprica 2010 is a wine from Italy’s I.G.T. Puglia region.  The grapes used are alluded to in the wine’s name:  NEgroamaro, PRImitivo and CAbernet Sauvignon.  The red blend is vinified and aged completely in stainless steel, with full malolactic fermentation.  I always love tasting a red wine produced without oak - the aromas and flavors are always so fresh and enticing.  In this wine, malolactic fermentation imparts a full-mouthed creaminess.

It’s medium-dark in the glass and has an amazing nose - big, huge black cherry, raspberry and currant notes are all wrapped in an earthy hint of allspice.  The palate is lean and fruity, showing very dark raspberry and cherry flavors, but so clean.  The nice acidity level and elegant tannins work together to make a mouth-watering quaff that is a joy to drink.  And in case you think summer wines have to be white or pink, this shows otherwise.  Neprica takes a chill quite well.

On Twitter, @sf_valerie thought the Tormaresca Neprica was like an Orin Swift Chianti, while @melanie0 was happy to find a chillable red for the hot weather ahead.

We hope to see your Twitter handle in the timeline in July!


Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter