There are several example of cooperation in Italy, in agriculture, but above all in the wine business. More than ever “there is strength in numbers”. And the wine, I am talking about, that amused me is a sparkling one, produced by a cooperative, Cavit Trento, i.e. Cantina Viticoltori del Trentino, a really big one, involving about 4500 vinegrowers, from 10 cooperatives in Trentino, in the North East of Italy.
It all begins in 1950, when some vinegrowers join together, establishing the so-called Consorzio di Cantine Sociali, an embryo of Cavit, with the main purpose of exploiting their land and fruits. In 1957, with the growth of the business, the Consorzio acquires a cellar. In 1964, the current estate of Cavit in Ravina di Trento was built, turning into a winemaking landmark.
The headquarter is the estate Maso Toresella, built in the 1500’s, just by the lake Toblino, with an amazing villa, surrounded by vineyards and founded by Principi Vescovi di Trento. Here, Cavit with Istituto Enologico di San Michele all’Adige (Fondazione Edmund Mach) founded an advanced experimental center, for winemaking and oenologist projects to create highest quality wines, as those under the brand “Il Maso”, single-vineyard wines.
Cantina Altemasi is part of Cavit and it is the flagship of Trento viticulture, where the production is concentrated on sparkling wines only, under the appellation Trento DOC. Built in 1993, it is a high tech building, on 4 floors – the basement is underground for the aging of sparkling wines.
The spumante I tasted amused me, as always it does. Here is my description:
My tasting notes: Altemasi Riserva Graal 2010 – this is a Classic method, produced only in the best years. Chardonnay 70% and Pinot noir 30%. The base wine is aged 72 months with the yeasts. The mousse is white and the bubbles are tiny and persistent. It’s almost creamy. The colour is greenish – straw yellow. On the nose, it is intense with notes of ripe fruit, pinapple, peach, wildflowers, chamomile, toasted coffee, pine nuts and again iodine and vanilla. It is definitely a complex, elegant, changing bouquet, every time I put the nose into the glass. On the mouth, it is fresh, salty, with a long backtaste and a final of ripe fruit, spices and custard.
Some technical info: the grapes are grown on high hills in the best areas of production of sparkling wines in Trento (Colline di Trento, Altopiano di Brentonico and Valle dei Laghi). The soil of the vineyards is a mix of volcanic and glacio fluvial depositional landforms, at 500 to 600 mt asl. Vintage 2010, after all, was in the average. Chardonnay is aged 50% in steel and 50% in oak.
Historical note: Grail in medieval latin means bowl: in the story of King Arthur the Holy Grail is the bowl that Jesus hold during the last Supper.
Pair this sparkling wine to a spicy mushroom risotto or to the whole meal: it will taste delicious!
Retail Price: € 35 – $ 41. My rating: 95/100
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