A Trio of Light, White, Summer Sippers from La Fiera

These three refreshing [and budget friendly] wines pair great with summer activities and foods, and are very adept at hanging out on the porch or patio.

Estate: The Botter family has been producing wines under environmentally friendly practices since 1928. Today, the company is managed by the family’s third generation and specializes in wines of the Veneto region of northern Italy. With its association with fairs, the carousel has been the symbol of the Botter family for centuries. The name La Fiera, translates to “The Fair” and refers to the medieval riding fairs in northern Italy. Fairs took place in royal courts and featured lavishly decorated horses and highly skilled riders performing synchronized formations. The carousal with its wooden horses on a rotating platform was developed to replicate the riders at these fairs.

La Fiera Moscato Terre Siciliane IGT 2016
Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with friendly aromas of honeysuckle, pineapple, grapefruit and a hint of fresh cut grass. Subtle lemon and a savory streak highlight lush tropical fruits and honeysuckle flavours abounding in each fizzy sip. Sweet, but not cloying thanks to the underlying fresh acidity. Bright and fun, fantastic on its own or with light snacks.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Enjoy simply as a sipper or paired with light cuisine and desserts.

100% Moscato
10.5% Alcohol
$8 [average price]

La Fiera Soave DOC 2015
Tasting Notes: Light gold in colour with sunny aromas of wildflowers and pineapple. Light apple, melon and pear flavours harmonize with floral elements, citrus fruit and minerals comprise the smooth, clean finish. Very easy drinking, great on its own, especially as a first glass [or aperitif] and with light, summery dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Salads, roasted vegetables, seafood.

80% Garganega, 10% Trebbiano, 10% Chardonnay
12% Alcohol
$8 [average price]

La Fiera Pinot Grigio Veneto IGT 2016
Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of pear and lemon, along with a floral trace. Yellow apple and pear are backed by food friendly acidity, a light zip of grapefruit and minerals energizes the dry, crisp finish. A friendly, versatile wine for the table.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Salads, grilled chicken, seafood, mushroom based dishes, soft cheese, pastas in cream or olive oil.

100% Pinot Grigio
12% Alcohol
$8 [average price]

 

Samples submitted for review purpose.

Piera Martellozzo ‘Blu Giovello’ Moscato Puglia IGT NV

Estate: The Martellozzo estate was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Martellozzo. At the age of 29, 3rd generation winemaker Piera Martellozzo took over the estate her grandfather established. Today the estate stretches over three regions: Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige. The Giovello line is crafted to be fresh, lighthearted and enjoyed young.

Philosophy: “Donating the pleasure of wine in the name of tradition and contemporary taste.”

Winemaking: Hand harvested from organically farmed vineyards 300-400 meters above sea level with morainic and volcanic soils. Fermented in stainless steel, followed by “then a short Charmat method, about two months. In the end the wine is chilled, filtered and isobaric bottling is carried out”.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of peach, apricot and citrus. Concentrated peach, apricot, honey and white flowers are accented by light fizz. Citrus zest compliments sweet honey on the dry finish. Sweet, but not cloying, a good choice with light snacks or to begin the afternoon/evening.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Cheese courses, charcuterie or antipasto plates. Its versatility, and the lower alcohol also make it an ideal aperitif candidate.

100% Moscato Giallo
Puglia IGT
Italy
Bottled by Piera Martellozzo S.P.A
9% Alcohol
$9
Enjoy now

Moscato d’Asti: Poetry & Passion in Each Bubbly Sip

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Holidays, brunch, hot summer days, celebrations, afternoons, dinner, dessert, spicy food, salty snacks….these are all opportunities to give a pour to Moscato d’Asti! I was delighted to attend a Master Class tasting on the wonders and possibilities of Moscato d’Asti, held at the renowned Del Posto restaurant in NYC.

Neighboring on Barbaresco and close to Barolo, the Asti region is located in the lower left corner of piedmont, northern Italy. The territory is UNESCO protected, reflecting the distinct “sense of place” expressed in its wines. Although it is a tiny area, there is a lot of diversity in the soil composition and climate, which leads to different terroirs. The cultivated areas are very specific, from super steep hillsides to the lower valleys, which additionally contributes distinct characteristics. The steep sites [200-600 meters above sea level] are known for their limestone and sand soils, which bestow a delicate, airy edge, whilst the lower vineyards have sedimentary soils resulting in more concentration and richness of flavour.

Labeled a sweet wine, Moscato has been limited to dessert parings. While it is delicious with sweets, it is wonderful on its own, with appetizers, cheese, fruit [such as figs and melon] and absolutely fantastic with spicy and salty food! Well balanced, with great acidity, it seems more appropriate to consider it along the lines of a sweet Cabernet Sauvignon or red blend.

So what sets Moscato from Asti apart from all of those other Moscatos?

• Moscato d’Asti is made only from the Moscato Bianco grape. Cultivated since ancient Roman times, it is the variety from which all other varieties of Moscato [there are hundreds of types!] derive from.

• Moscato Bianco has the highest level of Terpenes [specific organic compounds that can range in aroma from sweet and floral to woodsy and herbaceous] of all the Moscato varieties, which makes it highly aromatic and gives it its renowned floral and peach aromas.

• Asti Moscato is “gently sparkling”, a soft bubbly or frizzante made thru the natural fermentation process, without the addition of any sugar.

• The acidity and creamy texture integrates well with a meal.

• Low alcohol, hovering right around 5%.

• A price range of $13-$25

And then there is the story behind each bottle from Asti. These are wines that are “made out of pride, not for money”. The majority of winemakers grew up watching their grandfathers work out thru trial and error the parts of the land that would accept vines. The land is extremely difficult to farm, and was not at all rewarding, it was their “grandfathers passion” to make Moscato wines.

Today, 95% of the winemakers in Asti are farmers, sharing a proud motto of “history equals skill”. All of the vines are organically farmed [not necessarily certified] or working towards organic standards. As Gianpiero Scavino of Ceretto stated “we realized it wasn’t hard to respect the earth”. The estate is certified organic beginning with this 2015 vintage, and also utilizes biodynamic and sustainable methods. Appropriate for a family with a motto of “The land is the soul of our wines.”.

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Gianpiero Scavino of Ceretto

For me, the two most compelling reasons why Moscato d’Asti rises above others are attributed to the winemakers themselves:

• Stefano Chiarlo of the renowned Michele Chiarlo estate stated that his “main job is to capture the aromas of the grape as you walk thru the vineyards and pour it into the glass”.

• Ceretto’s Gianpiero Scavino explained the distinctness as “landscapes are beautiful and that is part of the difference. The work that’s required, that’s priceless”.

Poetry and passion, found in each bubbly sip.

I greatly enjoyed all of the wines presented, below are the ones I found the most engaging and expressive of where they come from.

Michele Chiarlo ‘Nivole’ Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2015

chiarlo

Pale yellow with green highlights in colour, with lush aromas of honey, lemon and an herbaceous hint. Bursting with floral notes backed by creamy honey, lemon and apricot flavours. The light fizziness adds a crisp, refreshing edge.

100% Moscato Bianco
5% Alcohol
$17 [average price]

Marenco Vini ‘Scrapona’ Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2015

scrapona

Gold in colour with wonderfully intriguing aromas of sweet honey, citrus blossom and savory herbs. Vivid peach, sage, lime and orange blossom flavours culminate in a golden honey and clean mineral finish. Named after the single vineyard, Scrapona where grapes were hand harvested from, this is distinct and fascinating, with a delicate edge.

100% Moscato Bianco
5.5% Alcohol
$15 [average price]

Ceretto Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2015

cerretto

Deep gold in colour with inviting aromas of grapefruit, peach and white flowers. A woodsy, herbaceous streak harmonizes with vivid peach and apricot flavours. Finishing with sunny acidity and fine, zippy, citrus-laden bubbles. Engaging and interesting, this is was spectacular with spicy chickpeas, artichoke and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

100% Moscato Bianco
5.5% Alcohol
$17 [average price]

Caudrina ‘La Caudrina’ Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2015

caudrina

Deep straw yellow in colour with aromas of white flowers and sea salt minerals. Creamy lemon and honey flavours are dusted with honeysuckle, culminating with peach and apricot notes on the mineral driven finish. Well balanced and elegant, you keep reaching for more.

100% Moscato Bianco
5.5% Alcohol
$17 [average price]

 

 

Media event hosted by Consorzio dell’ Asti DOCG

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Lost Angel Moscato 2014

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Brand: Lost Angel Wines are a brand of Foley Family wines, which was founded in 1996 by vintner William Foley II. Foley Family Wines encompasses vineyards in California and the Pacific Northwest and includes brands such as Sebastiani Vineyards, Chalk Hill Estate and Three Rivers Winery. Foley places an emphasis on “the average American wine lover” that enjoys well-made wines ranging in both style and price.

Philosophy: “Create bangin’ wines that seduce the palate with scandalously good flavors.”

Winemaking: Each property contracted with Foley Family Wines is committed to sustainable farming practices. The moscato was aged in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Gold in colour with profuse aromas of peach, nectarine and honeysuckle. Sweet peach, mango and nectarine saturate the voluptuous body. Grilled pear and honeysuckle coat the moderate finish. Sweet, but not cloying thanks to the welcomed underlying acidity. The balancing acidity is responsible for making this a versatile sip from spicy foods [especially those incorporating black pepper, ginger and chili peppers] to dessert.

78% Muscat Canelli, 22% Chardonnay
California
Vinted and Bottled by Lost Angel Wines
11% Alcohol
$9
Enjoy now