When I review a wine the first thing I do is “observe” its appearance to note the color, clarity, and in the case of a sparkling wine, the bubbles. In this “one-bottle post” these are my thoughts after studying a non-vintage Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco:
The color was a charming pale yellow, somewhere between wheat and hay; think of it as the slightest of yellows in a box of Crayola crayons. (If you want to geek out with your next wine, check the colors here, I held up my glass to this chart and found Green-Yellow to be the best match. I wouldn’t have thought of green without the chart.)
In looking at the range for judging clarity, from clear to dull, I couldn’t decide right away as the wine frosted over my fluted glass! So I waited…and by the time I was nearly done, and my hand had removed most of the frost, the wine was perfectly clear and deemed in excellent condition. Another wine geek thing to do!
The bubbles, still racing in a swift pace from the bottom to the top while I’ve written my notes thus far, gave off their usual pleasant pops when they reached the top of my glass.
I grew expectant, as I always do at this stage. It was time to delve further.
Aromas ran the full gamut from pear, talcum powder, pineapple, yogurt, sandalwood, Mandarin orange, jasmine flowers, toasted French bread, coconut, vanilla all the way to Brie and white cheddar.
Once on my palate I searched and found bright flavors of: honeydew melon, white peach, lemon-lime, orange, Hawaiian pineapple and rainbow sherbet.
The wine also went well in a Kir Royale (a shot of Chambord raspberry liqueur) and I wondered what other fruit liqueurs, or a simple slice of fruit, would benefit in with the Carpenè Malvolti. My mind raced and I thought a slice of any of the fruits I had found in the palate would do nicely. And as far as a food pairing why not use what I found in both the aromas and flavors: Brie and cheddar on toasted French bread, vanilla yogurt topped with nuts and Mandarin oranges – either or both would make a tasty addition to a special brunch in my opinion.
100% Prosecco di Conegliano (D.O.C.G.), method charmat, 11% alcohol, 90 Eve pts.
Carpenè Malvolti is one of the most ancient and prestigious houses noted for helping to form the great Italian wine making tradition. It was founded in 1868 by Antonio Carpenè, a forerunner in the application of biology (a then newly-acquired knowledge) to the art of wine making. Antonio, in contact with the great scientists of the century, Pasteur and Koch, published practical and theoretical tracts on the subject of wine making, which for many years were considered classical texts on the subject. In 1873, at Conegliano, he established the first Oenology school in Italy dedicated to the study of grape growing and wine making. Today’s custodian of the family traditions and expertise is the great-grandson of the founder, Etile Carpenè Jr.
At the forefront of innovation, technique and style, Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco di Conegliano DOCG has been the standard bearer of the forward thinking wine approach so emblematic of Italy’s most modern wine producing region. The superior quality of the Prosecco grape, and that of Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco DOCG, comes from hillside vineyards of typical red flaky soil, limestone marl and grey-green chalk. Located about an hour’s drive from Venice, these slopes are often very steep and so the care of the entire production process of the vineyard, including harvesting, is accomplished by hand. This guarantees the utmost quality of the raw material. Thirteen decades of tradition, effort and commitment have guaranteed the highest level of quality. Carpenè Malvolti was the first, in Italy and in the world, to perfect and promote the production of “method charmat”, or sparkling wine, in large vats.
PROSECCO di CONEGLIANO DOCG
REGION: Veneto . WINEMAKER: Antonio Spinazzè. VARIETAL: 100% Prosecco di Conegliano (D.O.C.G.). COLOR: A bright, brilliant, straw yellow. BOUQUET: Fine, of bread crusts and delicate pear fruit. TASTE: Dry, delicate pear fruit with a full, pleasant finish.
Fresh and appealing. FOOD PAIRING: Ideal as an aperitif and excellent with fish and throughout the meal . SERVING TEMP: Chilled: 46° F (8° C ).
As is my policy, I read the tech sheet after the tasting. It’s always fun for me to see if any of my tasting notes match those from the winery. We hit the nail on the head with the pear and color…though I went a bit overboard on the descriptors! Of special note to me, I’ve been lucky enough to visit Venice, Italy three times so far…maybe in a fourth visit we can travel “about an hour’s drive from Venice” and visit Carpenè Malvolti for another look at those racing bubbles.
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com