GLUCK – The bottle for this evening
where: at home
with: codfish carpaccio with pears and lemon peel
“Life is a bubble” is the slogan (and life-style) with which Cinzia Canzian and Pier Francesca Bonicelli identify themselves. And, in fact, they are correct, even if this idea is susceptible of various interpretations. My first inclination is to think of that nimbleness that one must have to cope with the various curves that life sends our way, or of the fragility of being, or even of the Catullian principle of carpe diem. What is clear is that both the idea of “life is a bubble” as well as the name bestowed on this wine—a tad impertinent and ironically provocative—achieve success in arousing one’s curiosity and thus in deciding to explore them both. And speaking of my own personal search, that is exactly how it went. I knew nothing of Vigne di Alice and its Proseccos, so I was led to taste it precisely by these considerations. And I have to say that in addition to an instinctive attraction by a very straightforward, effective communications strategy, there is quite a bit more back story. Cinzia and Francesca are celebrating this year their tenth anniversary of concentrating on the production of Valdobbiadene Conegliano, and their wines are considered among the best. They focused right from the beginning on using the classic method and the glera grape (obviously) to produce the highest-possible-quality sparkling wine, striving--as in the case of .g--to convey their personal love for their growing area, as well as to always embody a feminine point of view, to the extent possible in this world. They certainly do display the grit and skills, with expertise gained over the years in their family wine operations. Prosecco has been for quite some time now the best-known wine in Italy and even more so abroad, and it is the only wine that can boast uninterrupted growth. Let’s admit that among wine-lovers and the wine-infatuated there is a certain hesitancy with regard to Proseccos, since the sector is sometimes a tad quality-challenged. But .g breaks through this barrier with ease. I liked it very much with a baccalà carpaccio with pears and lemon peel served at home for dinner. The bubbles were pin-point, the mousse creamy and crisp, the flavours fruity and hinting of toasted almond, the wine easily able to stand up to Her Majesty the baccalà, a dish that I adore and offer often to my guests. I earnestly hope that my bubble can yield a good dose of lightness.
This column offers a few brief comments on a bottle of wine enjoyed the previous evening by one of the many collaborators of Slow Wine. The wine is not a “special occasion bottle,” taken out of the cellar to celebrate a special moment, but rather a lovely, everyday, easily-drinkable wine, perfect for both the meal and the pocketbook, in the sense of quality-price ratio. In a word, a fine bottle that provided considerable satisfaction to those who drank it, and one, in particular, that was drained in a second, enjoyed avidly and quickly with the food that partnered with it.
Prosecco .G Metodo Classico
Sogar das Degorgiedatum 17.Dezember 2014 ist vermerkt bei diesem grandiosem Metodo Classico. Komplexes, feinse bouquet, das in Richtung Champagner geht, hochfeine Birne, sehr Klar, verhaltenes Mousseux. Grossartig!
In the last few years, I’ve tasted heaps of Prosecco colfondo, with the lees left in the bottle. They were often intriguing, at least for first sip or so. Yet, most of them tired my palate with their piddling fizz. Amici, an enjoyable (not to mention serious) sparkling wine needs to cleanse thy tongue. Bristling-ly.
Most, too, were one-note wonders and sempliciotti / simpletons, with obvious, over-lees-y toasted bread notes, and too much under-ripe grapefruit pith.
If Alice was going to make a colfondo, it wasn’t going to be hipster. There’s lots of bar chatter and Kool-Aid being swallowed about how these represent the ‘real’ Prosecco. That’s bullshit / Che stronzata! It’s just a another way to explore the Glera grape and Prosecco’s territorio and terroir. Another time and place for that, but to get into it just a little: Charmat / metodo Marinotti, bottle fermented metodo ancestrale / familiare / colfondo / a fondo, and, metodo classico are all *valid* – if different – forms of sparkling pleasure. Someone please write that article.
So what did I do with Alice’s a fondo (a riff on colfondo)? I took it from the fridge, having put it there the night before. I began to pour slowly, bending the non-flute* glass to the bottle, being careful to keep the wine mostly upright. As you all know, the wine that comes out at first is less torbido / cloudy, as you pour onwards, that changes.
As I drank, I realized that this bottle represented to me the best of that rare woman or man who’s both Madonna and Whore; innocent and miraculous, yet wild. (Attenzione! we’re not talking about a more mingled and polished dichotomy of the bourgeois-boheme). The wine’s savory and Winter’s Bone dry. Delicate, nuanced, edgy: celery salt, green apple, preserved lemons, grated ginger; and a flower you probably know better than I do. Grapefruit pith, talc, and all business in bocca, mi piace. As I fell more into the bottle, more grated ginger and sea salt (crudo! Come to me, my love!) With more air, a lovely spearmint note opened.
Le Vigne di Alice’s a fondo. As you say in italiano: non male.
*Never use flutes for sparkling wines; they restrict the naso from opening up for you.
2011 Le Vigne di Alice Extra Dry Prosecco
Who knew that Prosecco could be so fine? So many wines in this category are serviceable but clunky, with fat bubbles and a sour-apple aftertaste.
By contrast, Alice is revelatory: The perlage (bubbles) are tiny and ´persistent,´ as we say in the industry; the notes of grapefruit, lime, pear, acacia and honey are pitch-perfect.
This label came to be after two longtime lady winemakers in the Veneto, Cinzia Canzian and Pier Francesca Bonicelli, teamed up to launch their own label, and their combined expertise shows. This elegant wine is 100 percent glera (the official grape of Prosecco) and a refreshing 11.5 percent alcohol by volume. It would make a lovely bubbly to serve your valentine. Find it at wine shops and supermarkets through HM Wine Distributing.
Katherine Cole - The Oregonian
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