Italian Sparklers

The last installment of Sparkling wines 2012 with links to all sorts of goodies


I’m rounding out my reviews of sparkling wines with a few from Italy. Prosecco, being an attractively fruity alternative in a world of dry, tense sparkling wines, it is sometimes a touch sweeter than your average sparkler, but they are almost always great crowd pleasers.

Not many people know about the Methodo Classico wines of Italy. Exceptional Method Champenoise wines have been produced in the north of the country for over a century, and the experience shows. While not always as inexpensive as we’d like, the quality is undeniable and worth a look, particularly for those of you who might prefer something Italian on your table. Just sayin'.

Sparkling Wine image via Shutterstock

Learn how to pair sparkling wine with this guide from Eric Guido

These classic sparklers are perfect for the holidays

Step out of the box with some sparkling roses for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays, a collection of fantastic sparkling wines from GDP

By Diane Letulle

Experience the fanciest of pairings this holiday season

Stock up on the best bubbly for the holidays

Stock your shelves with these fine Moscatos for the holidays

Just the facts ma'am

A cheat sheet for deciphering labels

The Battle of the Bubblies


NV Albino Armani Prosecco Extra Dry 11% $16

Perfumed and floral on the nose with a mineral base and clear, crisp white pear and apple fruit that shows a hint of sweet peach. This enters the mouth with focus and a taut mouthfeel that shows the faintest hint of sweetness, never losing its tension in the mouth. The fruit is light and transparent, with complex pear flavors and a touch of berry fruit on the back end before transitioning to a lovely, slightly creamy lemon/lime finish that ends with hints of dusty minerals. Really well-made and attractive Prosecco. There’s a hint of bitterness here that serves as the perfect counterpoint to the sweet edge of the bright, fresh fruit. 90pts

NV Lamberti Prosecco Extra Dry 11% $13

Very pretty on the nose with early floral notes that are joined by slightly exotic hints of lychee over a dusty base of pear, raw almond and lime pith fruit. Open and very clear in the mouth with slightly coarse bubbles that don’t detract from the lovely lemon juice and creamy apple flavors. This has a touch of astringency to it that refreshes the palate and nary a hint of sweetness about it. Firm, fairly long, and nervous in the mouth, this is lovely if perhaps a touch subtle. 89pts

NV Pizzolato Pizzolato Fields Organic Prosecco 11% $13

Quite complex on the nose with an interesting array of Zelten (an italian fruit bread with pinenuts, dried fruits and walnuts), herb, strong almond and yeasty aromas over sweet pear and almost buttery apricot fruit. A bit sweet on entry with good balancing acidity, the flavors are fresher in the mouth than the nose and the texture is quite clear and edgy with white peach and green pear notes that are clear if subtle. Finishing dry and lightly mineral, this is a fairly sophisticated and complex Prosecco frizzante. 88pts

NV Villa Sandi Prosecco Superiore di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry 11% $14

Light and fresh on the nose with pear skins, a hint of herb and a touch of earth. Very broad in the mouth with sweet orange tinged core of apple and pear fruit. This is very round up front with excellent balance turning a touch firmer on the back end with the cut of lime-like acidity and a gentle sweet herbal component on the fairly long, if just sweet finish. With a fine mousse this is a party in a glass. 88pts

NV Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore 11% $14

Very fruity on the nose with notes of pear, apricot and sweet limes over a light dusting of dry yeast and white flowers. A bit enthusiastic on the palate with big bubbles punctuating fairly dry, slightly stoney flavors of pear and apple with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. This finishes with a nice dry apple and light mineral flavor that shows good length. A classic Prosecco. 87pts

NV Voveti Prosecco 11% $14

Very floral and citrussy on the nose with a spicy lemongrass top note and some deep baked peach and almond base notes. A little coarsely textured, this delivers fairly rich orange and apricot tinged flavors of minerally citrus fruits. Showing a hint of sweetness on the back end, this finishes quite assertively dry with an earthy edge to some pear skin notes. A bit rustic yet attractive. 86pts

NV Avissi Prosecco Extra Dry 11.5% $14

A bit sour on the nose with aromas of very ripe apples, fresh lemons and fennel. Fresh, with enough sugar to add some body but so much acidity that it’s easy to miss. The flavors are bright with plum and apple tones and a slightly creamy texture. Turning more citrussy on the back end, this finishes with lovely pear skin and lemon pith fruit. A bit simple but fresh and clean. 86pts

NV Pizzolato Prosecco Stefany Extra Dry 11% $16

Made from organic grapes. Hard and steely on the nose with aromas of tart apples and green plums that are slightly spicy and attractive. A bit coarse in the mouth with yellow apple fruit over a firm, earthy base with a little dried herb that pops on the back end adding complexity to the moderately long, rather dry green plummy finish. Atypical but attractive and while there is a suggestion of sweetness, here it’s fairly dry for Prosecco. 85pts

NV Casanova Prosecco di Treviso Extra Dry 11% $17

Big pear fruit on the nose followed by gentle lemon zest and sage notes. Sweet and bright on entry, downright juicy in the mouth with gentle salty, mineral-tinged sweet pear fruit. The back end is a touch diffused, making this seem perhaps sweeter than it is, though the finish shows nice acid cut and a definite saline note on the finale. 83pts


2006 Ca’ del Vent Sospiri Franciacorta Brut 13% $50

Dark golden color. There’s a ton of complexity and oxidative evolution on the nose here with scents of pigskin, dried fruit, a deep meaty note, gentle spice, old wood, smoke, briar and wild herbs all coming together. This has a very fine mousse, and compelling richness in the mouth with a texture that shows a bit of weight but at the same time is very well balanced and agile. The flavors are as complex as the nose, if fresher with notes of apple butter, a little strawberry and some gentle hazelnut notes over a base of waxy fruit, and light quince jam notes.  Finishing with length and finesse, this is atypical but as compelling a bottle of Franciacorta as I’ve ever come across. 93pts

NV Argens la Montina Franciacorta Saten 12.5% $33

Sweet and almost minty on the nose with very fine fennel pollen notes and some butterscotch accents to the core of ripe fig and peach fruit with a hint of guava. With a very fine mousse and notable ripeness on the palate, this is rather large scaled in the mouth delivering rich, honey glazed flavors of ripe peach, tart apple and green plummy fruit. Picking up some spice on the finish, this ends with more faint butterscotch and spice notes over a candy apple base. Seductive stuff that is very easy to enjoy. 91pts

NV Berlucchi Cuvee ‘61 Brut 11.5% $18

Tight on the nose with yeasty dough, sweet almond and ripe apricot fruit. Soft, supple and gently sweet on entry, this is rich with ripe peach and pear fruit. Very well-balanced, it’s neither sweet nor tart on the palate, just lush and giving with a bright, tense feel and gentle mineral hints on the back end that lead to a moderately long, brisk, yeasty yet fresh finish. Lovely and certain to be a crowd pleaser. 89pts

Mentioned in this article


  • I've been looking for a sparkling shiraz but have found it very difficult to locate pointing to either lack of availability or a market issue. Can you tell me what might be happening to this particular wine? Thanks.

    Dec 29, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Add a Comment

Search Articles

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Snooth Media Network