Albino Armani, 1607 Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG NV (about $18)

Italian Wine for december, 2019

Here is an enjoyable, price-friendly Prosecco wine just in time for the holiday season.

Prosecco is easily Italy’s most popular sparkling wine. Light, refreshingly effervescent and inexpensive, it is an integral part of most weddings, birthday parties and other celebrations as well as seasonal holidays throughout Italy. Americans have gradually fallen in love with Prosecco and any wine shop today will have at least a half-dozen different varieties of Prosecco on its shelves.

By regulation, prosecco production is limited to specific designated areas of the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia regions in northeast Italy. However, Prosecco’s traditional heartland is a small sub-zone straddling the Veneto-Friuli border called Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. Prosecco wines from this sub-zone received premier DOCG status in 2009 and wines bearing the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG designation are generally regarded as some of the best Prosecco wines in terms of elegance and character.

The Albino Armani winery is a family-owned operation with a long history that dates back to 1607, a year that is prominently displayed on the labels of all their wines. The main business of the Albino Armani family is wines and there is no relation to the fashionista Armani family.

Today, the family estate includes five separate wineries spread over three regions with three in Veneto, one in Trentino Adige and one in Friuli in the foothills of the Alps. Albino Armani’s Prosecco wines come from Glera grapes sourced from their gravelly, hillside vineyards in Friuli.

The Glera grapes are harvested in September. Following a natural fermentation, a second fermentation lasting three Albino Armani, 1607 Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG NVto four months takes place in stainless steel tanks after which the wine is bottled for sale. At bottling, some residual sugar is added in order to achieve the “Extra Dry” status. “Extra Dry” indicates that it is a skosh sweeter than “Brut” but less sweet than “Dry” in standardized but often confusing wine sweetness labeling terminology.

Albino Armani’s Extra Dry Prosecco is lively and fresh with fine and persistent bubbles and subtle but complex aromas and flavors. Straw-yellow in color it has delicate pear, yellow apple and white floral notes that follow through in the taste buds with zesty acidity balanced by a mild sweetness on the long, soft finish.

This sparkling wine is a real pleasure to drink anytime but especially when there’s a party involving friends and family. It can be served as an aperitivo or with almost any appetizer and first courses such as quiche or frittata dishes and even simple fish dishes.

Its tinge of sweetness also makes it a good companion to not-too-sweet desserts such as almond cookies, sponge cakes and panettone, the dome-shaped, light and airy cake that is ubiquitous in Italian homes during the Christmas season.


©Richard Marcis
December 12, 2019

For more on Prosecco wines, see The Subtle and Bubbly Charms of Prosecco

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