July 26, 2019
WineSpeed - by Karen MacNeil
Wine of the Week

BISOL "Crede" Brut Non-Vintage
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG

(Veneto, Italy) $21

What is it about really good Prosecco Superiore that makes you feel as though you could drink it all day long? Maybe the lovely freshness. Maybe the purity and delicacy of the fruit. Maybe the long supple finish or the frothy playful bubbles. All of these—plus a gingery/peachy/vanillay crispness—combine in Bisol’s terrific wine called “Crede,” local dialect for the clay soils that cover the foliated hills (once an ancient seabed) of Valdobbiadene. The Bisol family has been making wine since 1542. (11.5% abv)

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Wine Question of the Week
What is Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore?
A.  The official name of Prosecco
B.  The name for Proseccos that have been aged an additional two years in bottle before release  
C.  A more highly ranked Prosecco that comes from vineyards in a small special area 
D.  Prosecco made in two of the most famous villages in the province of Friuli

Here's the answer...

Wine Question of the Week

These Proseccos Will Change the Way You Think About Prosecco


The word used to distinguish small, hand-tended vineyards grown on special steeply sloped hills in the area where Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore can be made. There are 43 such communes where Proseccos can have Rive status. The geology of the Rive (a result of glacial movements by the Alps as well as the desiccation of ancient seabeds) is quite...Continue Reading

Fascinating Facts

"Grand Cru" of Proseccos

Want to try the ultimate Prosecco? Look for the word Cartizze. Superiore di Cartizze is, in effect, the “Grand Cru” of Conegliano Valdobbiadene. A tiny high-elevation hilly area of just 108 hectares/267 acres, Cartizze, notable by its pentagon shape, sits entirely within Valdobbiadene. It’s among the most expensive real estate in all of Italy and the sheer beauty of the landscape is breath taking. Soils in Cartizze tend toward sandstone and marl (a type of limestone). Cartizze wines tend to be the most complex and ravishing among all Conegliano Valdobbiadene Proseccos.

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Don't miss these exceptional Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiores.

ANDREOLA "Mas de Fer" Extra Dry 2018 $24
Superb freshness and delicious fruit-driven flavors reminiscent of pears and peaches.  

BIANCAVIGNA Brut 2018 $18
Crisp and limey with touches of spice. Balanced and long.

BISOL "Jeio" Brut NV $20
The lovely “little sister” of Bisol’s “Crede;” fresh creamy pear flavors.

MALIBRÀN "Ruio" Brut NV $19
The spicy/minerally side of Prosecco Superiore, with nice notes of ripe peaches and plums.

MASOTTINA Extra Dry 2018 $22
Exuberant and joyful with delicious pear notes and lacy bubbles.

Lively peach and plum flavors with wisps of lime zest. Thirst quenching.
Number of millions of bottles of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG produced in the 2018 vintage. That’s a relatively small amount compared to the 500 million bottles of basic Prosecco DOC made that year. The United States is the 4th largest importer of Prosecco Superiore.
Average percentage of slope of the hillsides covered by vineyards used for Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore. By comparison, Prosecco DOC comes from high-yielding vineyards on the flatlands. Because of the steep terrain, Prosecco Superiore must be harvested by hand.

More Numbers...

Year that Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore gained DOCG status in recognition of its exceptional terroir and the high quality of the Proseccos made there.  (The region also just became a UNESCO World Heritage siteone of 55 in Italy). By contrast, basic Prosecco is classified as a DOC.   

Prosecco, Cava, and Champagne are all made by the same method.

Answer: False. With Cava and Champagne, bubbles are the result of a second fermentation that takes place inside each bottle. Virtually all Prosecco (basic and Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore) are made by the Charmat process whereby the second bubble-inducing fermentation takes place inside tanks. (This process is sometimes called “Charmat-Martinotti" since it was first developed in 1895 by Italy’s Federico Martinotti and a decade later, adapted and modified by the Frenchman Eugène Charmat). The result is a bright, fruit-forward, fresh-tasting sparkler that minimizes yeasty flavors.  That said, a small number of Prosecco Superiore producers have returned to an ancient method called Col Fondo, whereby the second fermentation takes place in bottles but the yeasts are never removed. Kind of like the Prosecco version of Pétillant Naturel.

New True or False questions are posted every Thursday on my Facebook & Twitter pages.

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Dear Karen, Years ago, I was told that Prosecco was made from a grape also called prosecco. Now I hear it’s made from a grape called glera. Why is Prosecco now made from a different grape?” —Mark N. (Atlanta, GA)

Good question Mark. And the simple answer is pretty easy: they are the same grape. As you point out, the grape used to make Prosecco used to be called prosecco. But as the wine Prosecco’s popularity soared, and as other countries began planting prosecco grapes, the winemakers of Prosecco realized that a time could come when everyplace from Australia to South Africa produced so-called Prosecco wine. To avoid confusion and protect the authenticity of Prosecco as an Italian wine, the producers adopted a new name for the grape. The name they chose—glera—was an historic nickname for the grape. Prosecco wine, by the way, must be 85% glera with several other indigenous varieties allowed up to 15%.     

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About Karen
Karen MacNeil—author of The Wine Bible, named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Wine Industry in 2018, recipient of nearly every major wine award, and considered one of America's foremost wine teachers—conducts private wine tasting seminars for individuals, groups, and businesses around the world. Among her clients: Audemars Piguet, General Electric, Lexus, Merrill Lynch, University of Notre Dame, and several international law firms. Karen is one of America’s leading wine presenters and gives keynote speeches at industry and consumer conferences worldwide. Karen MacNeil & Company creates one-of-a-kind wine experiences for clients at exclusive wineries in the Napa Valley and other wine regions. Contact Karen here.


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