Veneto Prosecco Superiore

Historical references to lightly sparkling wines in the Veneto region date to the 1100’s, though these were much sweeter in the 12th century compared to the popular versions being fashioned today. With the burgeoning profile and interest in this delightful wine style, internationally, progressive Italian producers have had to take pro-active steps toward guarding the unique, regional nature of their Spumante. The traditional grape family for the bubbliest of all Italian white wine styles was colloquially known as Prosecco for a very long time; likely to have originated around the namesake town that lies close by to the Slovenian border. The official rebranding of the name to Glera in 2009 now means that these grapevines can be cultivated and marketed in other wine-producing regions in the world with the new designation, but only those wines which specifically originate from DOCG Prosecco and its various sub-regions may be labelled as bonafide Prosecco.



Though the sparkling wines from Italy’s north-eastern corner are distinctive,  the vintners have employed and innovated the French production method called Charmat to achieve their form. After an initial fermentation, the second infusion of yeast continues the converting of sugars and provokes the carbonation that provides the wine with its bubbled froth. This key finishing step is done in large, pressurised Stainless Steel tanks rather than the bottle, and so results in a fresh, crisp fruit flavour with less of the toasted character that’s more typical in its distant, French Crémant cousins.

This week’s feature of Prevedello Asolo Superiore Extra Dry Prosecco 2016 comes from a hillside vineyard around Asolo – the picturesque walled town that lies 40km inland from Venice in Italy’s Veneto-Friuli region. This family-run winery is yet another successful endeavour by Toronto-area restaurateur, France Prevedello, who has diligently been at the forefront of developing several dozen notable eateries since the 1970’s. You can now confidently add Prosecco wine-making to the list of his culinary accomplishment.

Serve well-chilled and keep at a cool temperature while enjoying it in a wider mouthed
goblet rather than in slender stemware. Your brunch guests will appreciate you
having another bottle standing by, brimming with steely fruit – to top them up!

PREVEDELLO ASOLO SUPERIORE EXTRA DRY PROSECCO 2016
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #262881 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 16.95
11% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in Veneto, Italy
By: Prevedello
Release Date: June 24, 2017

Tasting Note
This informal sparkler has an abundance of fresh apple, pear, and white peach, with a mildly nutty finish, wrapped up in a creamy body. Try serving with Brunch food fare or as a spritzy complement to smoked salmon canapes and savoury pastry appetizers.

Ripasso Alert

Often thought of as a singular, blended wine style, the prodigious vintners and
their vineyards in the Valpolicella DOC actually produce a spectrum of grape
varieties and blending recipes; finished in a range of grades and styles including
Classico, Superiore, Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto. Alternately referred to as
the Pearl of Verona or Verona’s Garden, the two adjacent valleys and plain that
comprise Valpolicella are nestled among the hills of Monti Lessini with the Adige
River acting as a boundary to the south and west. Apart from the storied city’s
anointment as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its surrounding agricultural zone
is also recognized for the fashioning of youthful wines that unabashedly display a
vibrant and fruity character; intended for early consumption within 3-5 years. In
this week’s DéClassé feature of Storia Antica Ripasso Valpolicella 2013, many
of these attributes shine and are amply demonstrated in the bottle.

The typical vine stock planted here is Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara and the
region’s signature variety: Corvina Veronese. One of the many local methods of processing wine is called Ripasso (to go over again). This is an ancient vinification
technique that 
likely was adopted from the Greeks; further developed by Romans
to make sweet Recioto della Valpolicella, then later refined for making the region’s fulsome wine star: Amarone. What all these styles have in common is the grape
drying process called appassimento, whereby optimally ripe grape bunches are
picked long after the main harvest and laid out to dry on Arele (bamboo racks).
Having reaching the desired concentrations of sugar and glycerin content, the
withered grapes are slowly pressed to yield the fermenting nectar that will over
five long years become Amarone; the residual pomace is re-purposed by being
added to a partially aged Valpolicella base wine, prompting a second fermentation
that elevates the alcohol content by 2% while adding tannin, colour and richness.
Add a year spent in barrels – it becomes Ripasso della Valpolicella Superiore.

The style has again become popular with red wine lovers longing for somewhat
bolder versions of the easy drinking, regional blend though still nimbler than the heavyweight and significantly more expensive Amarone version. Given the effort
that’s been invested in this bottling; paying a few extra dollars above the average
price-point for standard Valpolicella is more than justified. It’s ready. Decant.

Storia Antica

STORIA ANTICA RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA 2013
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #273672 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 15.95
Wine, Red Wine
13.0% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Veneto, Italy
By: Le Ville Di Antane S.R.L.
Release Date: Sept. 19, 2015

Tasting Note
A nicely extracted Ripasso with delicious aromas of blackcurrant, chocolate 
and
peppery spice. Medium-bodied, dry and flavourful with a pleasing, zippy freshness.
An excellent choice for barbecued beef, mushroom risotto and aged cheeses.

Prosecco Alert

Historical references to lightly sparkling wines in the Veneto region date to the
1100’s and were much sweeter in the 12th century compared to the popular
styles being fashioned today. With the burgeoning profile and interest in this
delightful wine internationally, progressive Italian producers have had to take
pro-active steps toward guarding the unique, regional nature of their Spumante.
The traditional grape family for this, the bubbliest of all Italian white wine styles,
was for a very long time, colloquially known as Prosecco; likely to have originated
around the namesake town of Prosecco close to the Slovenian border. Official
rebranding of the name to Glera in 2009 now means that these grapevines can
be cultivated and marketed in other wine-producing regions in the world with the
new designation, but only those wines which specifically originate from DOCG
Prosecco and its various sub-regions, such as this week’s DéClassé featured
bottling from DOCG Treviso, may be labelled as bonafide Prosecco.

The sparkling wines from Italy’s geographic, north-eastern corner are distinctive
in their own right, though the vintners have employed and innovated the French
method called Charmat to achieve their form. After an initial fermentation, the
second infusion of yeast continues the converting of sugars and provoking the carbonation that provides the wine with its bubbled froth. This key finishing step
is done in large, pressurized Stainless Steel tanks rather than the bottle, so
results in a fresh, crisp fruit flavour with less of the toasted character that is
more typical in its distant French Crémant cousins.

The long rows of white pebble covered vineyards on the La Jara farm create an
appealing aesthetic while suppressing unwanted weed growth around the root
stock. Most importantly, the stones absorb the heat of daytime sun, then slowly
release the stored energy in the evening, extending exposure time of the grape
clusters to a warm microclimate; deepening their fruity character. Now in the
guiding hands of Massimo and Paolo Marion, generational family history here on
the gravelled banks of the Piave River dates to 1891and is in a renewed phase
of thriving commercially while progressively applying organic farming practice.

Avoid overchilling, but keep at cool temperature while trying in a wider mouthed
goblet rather than in slender stemware. Your brunch guests will appreciate you
having another bottle, standing by, brimming with steely fruit – to top them up.

La Jara Brut

LA JARA BRUT PROSECCO
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #402438 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 15.95
11.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content Descriptor: D

Made in: Veneto, Italy
By: Agricola La Jara
Release Date: Apr.4, 2015

Tasting Note
This informal sparkler has an abundance of fresh apple and pear with a nutty
finish. Try as an apéritif ahead of traditional Easter Brunch fare or as a spritzy
complement to smoked salmon and assorted savoury pastry appetizers.