Today I’d like to tell you about a sparkling wine that really surprised and impressed me. It’s part of the Lessini Durello DOC typology and it is, of course, a Classic Method (Champenois). But first, it seems only fair to introduce the type of grapes from which this wine is born: it is the Durella, so called because of its thick and hard skin (“Durella” meaning “hard”).
It is a variety of native grape that has been cultivated since the eighteenth century in a territory of volcanic origin, between the provinces of Verona and Vicenza. The vineyard area of DOC Durello Monti Lessini is small (only 300 hectares). The total production is about 650 thousand bottles, 35 thousand of which make up the Reserve. Grape producers in the area are 158; 25 vintners and 25 bottlers.
As you can see, it is a well-defined and limites production, but quality-wise it has absolutely nothing to envy better-known names and labels on the market.
Indeed, Durello is a “territorial” and “alternative” wine. These sparkling wines are produced with native grape varieties that no longer represent a company’s full range, but are a reasoned, pondered and well-planned product that is relied upon to create great labels.
The sparkling wine I enjoyed with pleasure is by Fongaro, a company founded in 1975 by Guerrino Fongaro. The choice was to focus on a Durella-centric production. With Matteo Fongaro, the company is now in its third generation. His vineyards are all located between 290 and 500 meters of altitude. The sparkling wine I am about to present is the Lessini Durello Doc Classical Method Riserva Pas Dosè 2008.
Tasting. In the glass, it stands out for its very fine bubbles and great persistence. It sends out scents of flint, ripe yellow fruit, syrupy peach, custard, followed by notes of dried fruits like figs and hazelnuts, and finally licorice and dried flowers. It unfolds a very strong aroma on a balsamic background. In the mouth it remains very fresh, intact, enveloping, long. A soft and enchanting sparkling wine. It closes on a beautiful trail of syrupy peach as a consistent, long finish. A force of nature!
Some technical data: it is made from 100% Durella grapes, able to confer great acidity to the wines, ideal for obtaining Classical Method wines. After harvesting, the basketfuls of grapes are placed in the refrigerator cell and cooled before pressing.
Vinification technique: soft pressing at 10-12 ° C. The first fermentation takes place in thermally controlled tanks at a temperature of around 15-18 ° C. Average fermentation time in tanks: 20 days. Second fermentation on its lees in April.
Maturation: bottle aging on its lees for no less than 60 months. Then, after the maturation is complete, the bottles are drawn from the racks and placed in the pupitres by the neck: they are rotated by hand every day for about 30 days, after which dégorgement is performed. In the case of the Spumante Pas Dosè at the time of the opening only same-wine refilling is carried out.
Matches: The producer himself advises (and we concur) risotto with scallops or sea bass in potato crust. And I agree with him!
Retail price: € 25; $ 28,5. My rating: 91/100
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