On the Road with the Grape Guy15 Apr 2022
- Category: On the Road with the Grape Guy
(November 2021) ... When you own a sparkling wine house, every day is a day to celebrate, but when you hit 75 years, you have an extra reason to pull out your best and throw the first deadly sin of the window, because pride should be what comes to mind. That, is the reason Masottina gathered a select number of wine professionals to taste through several sparkling wines via a web show; but before we get to those, let's learn a little more about Masottina
Owned by the Del Bianco family. The winery was "born" in 1946 in the hills of Conegliano Valdabbiadene Prosecco Superiore (in 2019, they became a UNESCO world heritage site). Grandfather Epifanio bought the Ai Palazzi estate at Gorgo al Monticono. At that time, the estate was just five hectares of vineyards and a farmhouse. While renovating the farmhouse, the words "Casa Masottina" appeared on an ancient wall – thus giving birth to their sparkling wine brand (the still wines, made by the family, reside under the label Ai Palazzi by Masottina).
Today, the family owns 280 hectares of vineyard comprising parts of the Conegliano hills, the bands of the Rive Piave, Gorgo Al Monticano and Magliano Veneto. On these lands they produce their Prosecco in DOC areas, (Prosecco and Treviso), DOCG (Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore) and in the Rive line (single vineyard): Le Rive de Ogliano
The Wines ...
In total, we poured six wines from a variety of areas of the region, all were 100% Glera and each expressed the region based on its style:
Calmaggiore Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut
Taken from selected parcels ... Delicate with floral notes and a lovely freshness: light and easy with notes of apple and citrus, plus a delightfully playful acidity. On the finish there's a hit of minerality and it ends dry, clean and refreshing. (****)
Costabella Prosecco DOC Organic Brut
There's something funky on the mid-palate that I can't quite put my finger on; it's either a bruised character and or an unexpected yeastiness ... But then I always get my backup when "organic" is stressed on the wine label. This was my least favorite of these wines I tried – its saving grace is a nice length to the finish. (***+)
Contrada Granda Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut
Plenty of fruit and plenty of floral reign supreme in this wine with notes of lime, green, apple, and a minerality that prickles and tickles the tongue along with its acidity. Could drink this one all night long. (****)
Contrada Granda Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Extra Dry
On the “sweetness scale” of sparkling wines, "Extra Dry” falls on the right side of "brut" - meaning it's a little bit sweeter; and while this Prosecco has a slight sweetness, it is not its predominant characteristic. Smooth across the palate, almost creamy, while the acidity seems a little more subdued. There's floral and delicious apple with some pear and lemon drop. (*** ½)
What's a Rive?
A Rive is a single vineyard Prosecco. They took the grapes from a small plot, the rest of the world refers to this as “single vineyard” on a label. In this area of the world. 43 hamlets (micro areas) make up the potential for Rive wines. To put it into perspective, DOC is the larger area, DOCG is a smaller area and Rive is the smallest area. Only 4% of the Prosecco making area is allowed to make Rive wines, and Rive wines must have a vintage date on the label.
R. D. O. Ponente Brut 2020
From a Southwest facing vineyard in the Ogliano area ... The vines used in this wine are approximately 10 years of age. There's a definite saltiness to the wine with an intensity of floral on the nose. Dry on the palate with white and yellow fruits taking charge ... There's even an herbal element here. (*** ½+)
R. D. O. Levante Extra Dry 2020
Another Ogliano vineyard wine, but this part of the vineyard faces Southeast and the vines are roughly 50 years of age. As previously discussed, Extra Dry is a slightly sweeter wine, but this one holds it close to the vest and quite well. A pretty perfumed note with elements of canned peaches and apples, a rich mouth feel and delightful note of minerality appears on the finish. (*** ½+)
According to the company brochure Masottina produces 12 Prosecco wines, two in each category: RDO (Rive), Contrada Granda (DOCG), Viaventi (Treviso DOC), Calmaggiore (Treviso DOC), Costabella (DOC / DOCG), and Virage (Vino Spumante) within these lines they also make two rosés and one using a mix of Glera and Chardonnay (Viaventi Extra Brut).
Happy 75th Masottina.