Sunday, February 20, 2011

“The Italian Wine Masters,” Part 4 Prosecco

The Italian Wine Masters is a combined effort between The Consorzi Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. It’s a trade show of sorts, where industry professionals and press are invited to meet the owners and representatives of over 100 wineries from Tuscany and the Veneto, Valdobbiadene wine growing region.

Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore

The question that comes to mind is: does the world understand that Prosecco can, and should, be more than an aperitif or palate-cleansing table wine? I’m here to say that it certainly should.

I’ve enjoyed many glasses of Prosecco in my life, and I’ve been moved by a handful of them. However, in most cases, it was simply that I wasn’t putting enough effort into finding wines of character. I’m not saying that Prosecco should stop being a highly enjoyable and easily drinkable dinner wine, but what I am saying is if you have disregarded it as nothing more than an easy-drinking aperitif, then you have done yourself a disservice.

Prosecco comes primarily from the Veneto region in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene. The wines that truly impressed me were from a handful of producers and, in most cases, from the Cartizze growing region, within the Conegliano Valdobbiadene. In my opinion, the volume, nuances and depths of flavors that these wines can reach easily make the argument that they can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with bubbly from around the world.

However, I would be remiss not to mention that there were a number of affordable, easy-drinking, unassuming and highly enjoyable Proseccos at this event, and I urge you to try both styles.

The run down, by score:
93 points - 2009 Val d’Oca Valdobbiadene Superiors di Cartizze Spumante
92 points - 2009 Col Vetoraz Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Dry Millestimato
91 points - Soligo Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Brut
91 points - 2009 Col Vetoraz Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Spumante
90 points - Col Vetoraz Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Brut
90 points - Bellenda Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Extra dry Miraval.
89 points - Col Vetoraz Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Extra Dry
89 points - Val d’Oca Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Brut
89 points - Val d’Oca Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Extra Dry millesimato
89 points - 2009 Perlage Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Extra Dry col di Manza Rive di Ogliano

On to the notes:

Bellenda Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Extra dry Miraval – The nose showed apple and citrus fruits. On the palate, this wine was refreshing and lively with granny smith apple and a hint of minerals leading to a vibrant and fresh finish. (90 points)

Soligo Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Brut – The nose showed tropical fruits and an unmistakable hint of banana. On the palate, the tropical fruit continues, backed by vibrant acidity and a pleasant, soft finish. (91 points)

Col Vetoraz Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Brut – The nose showed lemon and pear with green stems and floral notes. On the palate, I found crisp acidity and flavors of green apple. The finish was long with herbs and stone fruit. (90 points)

Col Vetoraz Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Extra Dry – The nose showed apricot, butter and citrus. On the palate, I found fresh notes of lemon peel and minerals. The finish was refreshing and light. (89 points)

2009 Col Vetoraz Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Dry Millestimato – The nose showed citrus and floral herbs. On the palate, this Prosecco was rich yet vibrant with layers of flavors. Stone fruit, minerals, white cherry and hints of salinity glided across the palate into a long refreshing finish. (92 points)

2009 Col Vetoraz Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Spumante – The nose showed ripe peach and apple. The palate was soft yet vibrantly fresh with sweet apple and citrus notes. The finish was refreshing and light. (91 points)

Val d’Oca Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Brut – The nose showed pear and hints of tropical fruits. On the palate, I found green apple backed by zesty acidity with an herbal finish. (89 points)

Val d’Oca Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Extra Dry millesimato – The nose showed minerals, clay, yeast and ripe stone fruits. On the palate, I found pear with a hint of sweetness, which ended fresh into the finish. (89 points)

2009 Val d’Oca Valdobbiadene Superiors di Cartizze Spumante – The nose showed almond extract, sage and spicy butter cookie, yet remained vibrantly fresh. On the palate, I found ripe apricot and nutty tones with tongue-curling acidity. The finish was light and mouthwatering. This was one of the best Prosecco’ I’ve ever tasted. (93 points)

2009 Perlage Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Spumante Extra Dry col di Manza Rive di Ogliano – The nose showed fresh flowers and peach. On the palate, it was fresh and soft with a hint of herbs and lime. (89 points)

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