Looking for an unusual fizz to toast to the new year? Then go for Metodo Classico. Four italian sommeliers, including two who work for Michelin-starred restaurants in Rome, have selected four Italian bottle fermented sparkling wines that offer a lot of enjoyment at a fair price point!
1. Castello Bonomi – Franciacorta Cru Perdu 2011
Recommended by: Mirko Rebuzzi, Head Sommelier at Restaurant Pascucci al Porticciolo (one Michelin star) in Fiumicino (Rome)
An early 20th century chateau-like estate on the hills of Coccaglio, Castello Bonomi produces some of Italy’s most refined sparkling wines. Cru Perdu, Castello Bonomi’s landmark wine, spends 84 months on the lees before release. On the nose, this deep, quintessential Franciacorta offers clear-cut aromas of hawthorne, lemon confit, sweet spice, fresh pastry, and a touch of crushed rocks. Similar flavors echo on the balanced, harmonious palate along with savory minerals and a succulent, fulfilling bead of razor-sharp acidity.
Price: $ 36.99 – Italian Wine Merchants (New York, US)
2. 1701 – Franciacorta Brut Nature
Recommended by: Pablo Roberto Frascona, Co-founder of Sommelier Life
1701 is the only biodynamic estate in Franciacorta. Owners Silvia and Federico Stefini use native yeasts for both the first and the second fermentation of their cuveès. A blend of Chardonnay with tiny bits of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir that spends minimum 30 months on the lees, 1701 Brut Nature boasts complicated aromas of dried flowers, chamomile, sandal wood, fresh pine, brioche. Razor-sharp acids and vigorous saline notes underpin the creamy, buttery mouthfeel of this harmonious Franciacorta. A hint of astringency adds depth to the lovely texture.
Prince: $ 29,99 – Navy Wine Merchants (New York, US)
3. Umani Ronchi – LH2 Extra Brut
Recommended by: Alessio Bricoli, Head Sommelier at Restaurant Imago all’Hassler (one Michelin star) in Rome
Did you know that Francesco Sacchi, a doctor from Le Marche, published a treaty on sparkling wine fifteen years before the birth of Pierre Perignon? If you did, you won’t be surprised by how good the bubblies from this region in Central Italy are. During his visit to Umani Ronchi, one of the Marche’s leading estates, an Australian importer had a sip of their Metodo Classico, and exclaimed: ” This is a little heaven!”. Hence the acronym “LH2”, which means Little Heaven 2. Two grapes make the blend: the native Verdicchio (65%) and Chardonnay (35%). Aged for 30 months on the lees, this refreshing, uncomplicated Metodo Classico offers bright aromas of lime, tangerine, balsam herbs, and a touch of honey. On the palate, creamy textures frame a core of lemony acidity and lingering mineral flavors.
Price: around $ 20 – Available in Eataly stores across the US
4. Marcalberto – Brut Nature
Recommended by: Raffaele Mosca, Co-founder of Sommelier Life
Up on the hills of Santo Stefano Belbo, no far from Barolo and Alba, lie the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards that give Piedmont’s best sparkling wines. A landmark estate in the area, Marcalberto produces flawless bubblies that do not contain any added sulphur. Marcalberto Nature springs forth with intoxicating aromas of golden apple, roasted hazelnuts, rasberry yougurt, and a hint of tobacco. The palate is at once creamy and taut. The balance between mineral tension and bold, luscious flavors is such that you could easily mistake this wine for a Champagne Blanc de Noirs.
Price. £ 145.00 (plus tax) for a case of 6 bottles – Ultravino (Sussex, UK)
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