Story and photos by Manos Angelakis
Valdo Numero 10 Prosecco
A few days ago I tasted an exceptional Prosecco made in the classic méthode champenoise, not in the usual Martinotti-Charmat autoclave method that most Prosecco is produced today.
The Charmat method allows the production of dry and sweet sparkling wines that retain the flavor of the base wine. After the first fermentation, the base wine is transferred into sealed tanks where with the addition of yeasts, the residual sugar converts into alcohol and carbon dioxide; the process generates pressure and the CO2 dissolves in the wine creating the effervescence we all love. In the classic method, méthode champenoise, the traditional way of creating a sparkler developed by the good friar Dom Pérignon the secondary fermentation takes place in bottle that is cellared for a considerably longer time in cool, underground cellars.
Prosecco is made from an indigenous Italian grape, nowadays known as Glera – in the past it was called Prosecco grape but the name was changed a few years back. The Prosecco consortium regulations call for a minimum 85% Glera content with the balance being a number of allowed other grape varieties.
The Valdo Prosecco is the result of the collaboration of 70 grape growers who grow the grapes and the Bolla family that has been making wines for more than 90 years. This sparkler, much of which is 100% Glera, is combining the typically fruity, delicate characteristics of the Glera grape, with the body and personality achieved with re-fermentation in bottles.
In the tasting, we had a vertical of 4 Numero 10 Prosecco vintages, an elegant sparkler made from 100% Glera, the earliest was a 2011, then a 2014, a 2016 and a 2019 plus a non-vintage blend called Valdo Cuvée 1926 made from 90% Glera and 10% Chardonnay. The wines were featured at a 5 course lunch in Manhattan’s Union Square area.
From my notes:
It is very unfortunate that the 2011 is no longer available in the US market and no product remains at most retailers (it is so good that I would suggest that if you can find a bottle grab it, at whatever price); the bottles we tasted were brought in from the winery’s library and was the best tasting of a Prosecco we recently had as good as any vintage top Champagne. After the end of the event, I remained at the lunch bar for another hour, just to help finish the remaining bottles.
The second best tasting was the 2016 vintage. Nicely aromatic, soft yet distinctive, it was a pleasure to have accompanying the Seared Bass dish that was the third plate of our lunch.
The 2014 and 2019 were still very good, but the 2019 was too young needing considerable additional cellaring to soften a bit more and the 2014 was as good but a bit too acidic for my taste – the result of an unusually cool year; so it also needs more cellaring to soften.
The Cuvée 1926 was a good non-vintage Prosecco blend. Great as an aperitif, a bit off-dry, the way a non-vintage Prosecco is usually made.
Is ygeían - to health!
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