WINE REVIEW: Valdo Prosecco
by Andrew Chalk
Prosecco is a happening wine. After a decade-long rise up the sales charts as an affordable alternative to Champagne, the enological equivalent to entropy has devolved the swine into several variants.
First, it has moved up the quality scale with the designation of two DOCG (Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita) areas within the broader Prosecco DOC. Check out the wines, there really is some breed emerging. Techniques like Prosecco Col Fondo and Prosecco Método Classico (Champagne method) are introducing autolyzed flavors and scents to the one time Bellini mixer. Prices are rising to match.
Vintage dating has also made a comeback (and, I predict, will become more prevalent now that there is a DOCG).
The most visible change to Prosecco drinkers is the recent approval of a rosé expression. This had to come, or the DOC would have risked the kind of end-run that happened in Tuscany when good winemakers worked outside the restrictive DOC(G) system to make more expensive wines labelled as lowly Vino da Tavola. They quickly became known as ‘super Tuscans’.
This is a ferment in Italy akin to Ferrari both going electric and making an SUV. Oh wait, Ferrari is going electric and they are making an SUV.
The producers swept up in the changes and the cause of it, live in exciting times. One such is the 95-year old house of Valdo, still owned by the original family and located in one of the DOCG areas, Conegliano Valdobbiadene. They sent me four of their wines, three Proseccos and one sparkling wine from another region to be tasted in a later article. The three Prosecco wines illustrate many of the changes that have swept the area and are all fine examples of their type. Rather than my notes, I reproduce the winery’s tasting notes provided with the flight as they are unusually good.
A well-balanced structure matched with an aromatic, fruity fragrance is the perfect choice for your next happy hour. Straw yellow, with a fine perlage and a crisp, fruity palate, this wine's strengths are its versatility and freshness.
A mix of Glera and Pinot Noir, this Prosecco Rosé has a lovely pink hue and persistent perlage. Its initial inviting floral notes lead to aromas of apple, pear, and small red berries. This Veneto staple is perfect as an aperitif, and it pairs perfectly with pasta, fish, or tartare.
With a straw-colored with golden tinges and fine and delicate bubbles, 1926's bouquet presents a characteristic aroma of ripe fruit, apple, pear, and exotic fruits such as banana and pineapple. The palate shows a moderate softness and full-bodied structure with a fresh flavor and persistent fruitiness.
These wines are recommended. They are also all good value.