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03 February 2016, Wednesday

Finding Prosecco: A Seven Year Search


In the last couple of years, Prosecco sparkling wine has proliferated into the lives of party goers due to the affordability of this wine from the Veneto region in Italy. As of today, about 300 million bottles of Prosecco are produced annually rivalling the production levels of Champagne in France. However, this is no poor-man’s champagne. Not even close. The grapes are different and the production methods are different. Unlike the grapes of Champagne where mostly Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay are used, Glera – Prosecco’s main grape variety – is world’s apart in terms of flavour. By itself, it is quite a flavourless grape. Moreover, the Charmat method of producing it does not necessarily give the wine fine bubbles that Champagnes usually do. 

From the ordinary taste of Valdo Prosecco used for Mimosa (Prosecco mixed with orange juice) to the seemingly-prestigious gold Bottega bottles seen on the shelves of DFS at airports, I have never been impressed with Prosecco as a sparkling wine. They are bland wines with bubbles that dissipate quickly. At its worse, they taste bitter after swallowing it. This was till I came across our current Prosecco producers which we proudly represent. 

We came across Marchiori Prosecco at Vinitaly show 2015. After tasting their wines, I knew that they were clearly winners. What distinguishes Marchiori from other Prosecco is:

1) Smooth, tiny and numerous bubbles that keeps on bubbling hours after it is open vs the rough texture imparted by other Prosecco

2) Mineral, floral and subtle citrus aromas and flavours vs bitter-tasting Prosecco

3) Aging - I have tasted 2007 Machiori Prosecco that are still young and vibrant with brioche champagne-like aromas. One client of mine even commented that this was not 

Prosecco.Marchiori defies the view that Prosecco cannot be aged.

 

So what makes Marchiori different from the rest? I can ascribe that to three reasons:

1) Vineyard – Many of Marchiori’s vineyards are high altitude and on very steep slopes. The high altitude preserves the acidity of the wine due to cool nights as it slows down the production of acid to sugar. Steep slopes allow for good drainage of water and prevents dilution of the grape flavours. 

2) Winemaking – Unlike many who use solely Glera to produce Prosecco, Marchiori uses a variety of ancient indigenous grapes to give complexity to the wine by blending. This balances the wine and adds a spectrum of flavour and aromas to the final wine.

3) Heart – The Marchiori Team have a predominant belief in their philosophy that whatever they do, they must preserve it for the future generation. Their practice of sustainable viticulture, experimentation with different organic fertilisers, batch fermentation of ancient grapes where a single varietal is being bottled etc. Everything that occurs in the vineyard and in the cellars comes with lots of soul and dedication to excellence. 

My seven year search for what I envisioned in a good Prosecco has paid off. And just in case you ask for Prosecco from Marchiori, Umberto Marchiori, the winemaker will immediately correct you.

Apparently, he only makes Prosecco Superiore, which is a higher level classification of Prosecco than those found in your local supermarket. 

To read more about Machiori and their wines as well as purchase bottles of Machiori Prosecco, sign-up on our registration page online.

To be updated on our next Prosecco Tasting Event, sign-up on https://www.bnulicious.com/signup.

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