Toasting the Bubbly
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES CARTIZZE IS ITS RANGE AND DEPTH OF NOTES, RANGING FROM PEARS, BANANAS, AND HONEYDEW MELONS, TO A SEAMLESS, RICH MINERALITY
Sparkling wines are always in vogue. They're not only a symbol of simple joy but also stand for prestige, luxury, and of course, romance. For those who like their wines soft and fruity, Italian Prosecco can be a very good choice.
Prosecco wines come from Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in Veneto, Northern Italy. This wine, made with a local grape, is sealed with the highest Italian wine standard of DOCG securing consistent and strict quality control.
Between these two hills is a smaller hill called Cartizze, one considered to produce the most treasured of Proseccos. Since the land is so highly regarded, the 140 owners who share this 106 hectare stretch ranging from pears, bananas, and honeydew melons, to a seamless, rich minerality. One of the best producers of this is the Villa Sandi with their wine, Vigna La Rivetta.
Villa Sandi is one of the most respected family-run wineries. Set in Treviso, in a Palladian-style villa dating back to 1622, the winery is a destination in itself. Their Cartizze is one of the most awarded wine in its group, including accolades from the prestigious and revered Gambero Rosso guide of Italy. Produced in a small quantity, its complex multi- layered flavours range from midly aromatic to intensely perfumed, citrus and white fruits to floral, with toasted almond flakes on the finish. All this have succesfully claimed the most expensive agricultural land in Italy.
The steep, white chalky low-yielding soil, along with cool breezy climate, and bright sun produces the best quality Glera in the world that winemakers turn into a divine bubbly. A unique winemaking process, known as the charmat method, adds bubbles to the wine by fermenting it under pressure in stainless steel tanks to preserve its true flavours.
General Prosecco wines are fresh, fruity, aromatic, and are most expressive in their extra dry version (with residual sugar upto 17 grams per litre). But what differentiates Cartizze from the others is its range and depth of notes, is well held together with great minerality, structure, balance, and finesse. Paired well with scones, fruit flans, focaccia bread, cream, or even traditional Italian Pandoro cake. If not with the sweets, try it with fried white fish dishes, cheese soufflé, creamy pasta dishes, polenta, or, more locally, navratan korma.
Though the wine ages well it is best enjoyed while in its youthful prime. Prosecco wines are a great addition to the world of bubblies. They marry well with food and go down easy, not only on your palate but also on your pocket. Try having this eloquent yet simple sparkling wine next time around and see what makes the wines from this little hillock so special. Cín! Gagan Sharma is a sommelier and wine educator based in New Delhi