Moscato of course is simply the name of the grape, a Muscat grape. It is this grape that brings the floral aromas, with roots traced back to Italy’s province of Asti and the village of Canelli in particular. Though often referred to as Moscato Bianco, among its many aliases, this grape should be famous as Moscato Canelli!
What makes Moscato d’Asti special you ask? Well, it’s many things all rolled up into one, but it starts with the perfect adaptation over centuries to the home turf. Layer in a unique terroir with precipitously steep south facing hillsides, manual harvesting of all grapes, and the gentle sparkling nature of the wine, and you have freshness and delicacy that other Moscato producers can only dream about.
The region’s other famous sparkler, Asti (formerly known as Asti Spumante) is fully sparkling. Asti has both a higher alcoholic content and less sweetness than Moscato d’Asti, even though it is made from the same Moscato Canelli. So kick back this holiday season and drink something festive and delicious. Try the true Moscato. Oops did I say that? Moscato d’Asti!
Photo courtesy Ristorante Cannon via Flickr/CC
2011 La Caudrina La Selvatica 7%
Pithy grapefruit notes on the nose are joined by a nice Iris floral note. Nicely balanced in the mouth, with a little off dry nature supported by plenty of acidity which highlights the grapefruit and light passion fruit notes. This is very nicely vinous with good length and a nice pithy, mineral interplay on the finish. 89pts
2010 Vittorio Bera Moscato d’Asti 5.5%
This is awfully perfumed with a delicacy of tropical flowers over dusty, herb washed notes of honey, tropical fruit, bitter orange pith and apricots. In the mouth, this has a classically creamy texture with a wonderful lightness that allows the rich, orange-toned fruit with hints of papaya and lime to shine through. The balance is fine here and the lime oil and orange pith tones and pollen undertone on the finish add a wonderful counterpoint to the sweet core of fruit. Moscato doesn’t get much better! 92pts
2011 La Morandina 5.5%
Lightly aromatic on the nose with a base of clay earth and light grapefruit notes, topped with a hint of yeast. Lovely balance in the mouth, this is clean and fresh with a creamy texture of fine mousse and a nice blend of peach and citrus on the palate. There’s a touch of herb that adds aromatic complexity in the mouth and a wonderful layering of fruit with apricot and green apple coming out on the moderately long finish. A winner. 90pts
2011 Soria Moscato d’Asti 5.5%
This has a lovely nose that combines notes of ginseng, pollen and mineral earth with light apple fruit. On the palate, this is crisp and focused, with obvious sweetness to the kiwi and lime oil fruit and plenty of acidity to refresh the palate. There’s some spice here along with a hint of red fruit on the finish, which adds nice nuance to this. I love the detail here. 90pts
2010 Vietti Moscato d’Asti 5.5%
A nice cool and crisp nose shows off white orchard fruits with hints of honeycomb and mineral adding detail. In the mouth this is sweet but so delicate, with a vibrant spice of white apply and white peach fruit that leads to a lingering finish, which shows a fine floral tone and more slightly mineral notes. Tense and particularly refreshing! 89pts
2010 Oddero Moscato d’Asti Cascina Fiore 5.5%
A very fine nose with pear, apple and lemon notes topped with a bitter floral hint that recalls fennel flowers. In the mouth, this is bright with intense fresh fruit flavors, backed up with a low bitter tone that’s reminiscent of honeycomb and turns a little spicy on the long finish. Packed with fruit, this lacks just a touch of brightness on the palate, but is otherwise complete. 89pts