Prosecco is maybe one of the best known Italian wine in the world. In the last few years there has been a boom of consumption and production, so much so that we can speak of a real phenomenon. That’s maybe why many wine snobbish experts tend to ignore it.
I can’t say Prosecco is my favorite wine, but there are times when you can’t think about drinking a good glass of it: when all you want is relax and take it easy, feeling is light and mild perfumes or when you are having funny convivial moments with your friends.
I have always known there was just one type of Prosecco: sparkling, Charmat method, normally in the brut, extra-brut or dry version.
One day I was in a typical “osteria veneta” when I came across a new (for me) style of Prosecco: “col fondo or colfondo”, that literally means “with the bottom”.
In addition to the most common versions there is this Prosecco “sur lie”, that is refermented in the bottle without disgorgement, then veiled. History or legend narrates that before the advent of the Martinotti method, Prosecco was made this way.
I was entering into a new world, and I wasn’t scared at all. With a good dose of curiosity and excitement, I tasted my very first Prosecco col fondo; I was totally enchanted by it!
It was the Asolo Prosecco Colfòndo DOCG by Bele Casel, a family winery situated in Caerano San Marco, in the province of Treviso, in the Asolo Prosecco Docg area.
The innkeeper told me that in the “col fondo” method the grapes of Glera are soft-pressed with a pneumatic press followed by static racking of the must and temperature-controlled fermentation with cultured yeast. After being aged on its lees in stainless-steel vats for 3 months, Asolo Prosecco Colfòndo makes a secondary fermentation in the bottle without disgorgement. That means that the bottle is closed with a mushroom cork since the beginning, so yeasts lay on the bottom and sugars tend to zero.
I must say that the first approach to this wine was quite destabilizing: looking at the bottle backlit, while pouring, you see yeasts moving slowly, designing soft clouds.
The color was straw yellow, quite veiled, with a light and persistent foam made of fine bubbles.
It took some minutes to open up, but then the perfumes showed up one after the other. White flowers, pears, cedro, bread dough, a ginger shade. But this was not definitive: the more I left the wine in the glass, more notes emerged.
I drank it as aperitif but, thanks to its savory and freshness, I think it would be great also with white meat or aged cheese.