The 2011 Secco (Dry) Italian Bubbles Bianco (White) is a blend of 77% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Bianco (a mutation of Pinot Noir) and 8% Raboso Piave (a Red local grape) sourced from vineyards in the northern part of the Piave Valley of Veneto, Italy. This is a joint project with Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines and K Vintners out of Washington State and his wife Ginevra and her sister Olivia Casa. In Italy, Prosecco is Sparkling wine made from the Glera grape in the Prosecco DOC in Vento and Fruili Venezia Giulia in Italy, it is a specific grape grown and produced in a specific area. A Spumante is the Italian generic name for any Sparkling wine, Prosecco is by definition also a Spumante, but the producers never use the term, because Prosecco is perceived as a high quality wine, while Spumante is often seen as being a lower quality, mass produced, inexpensive Sparkling wine. Bubbles or Bubbly are fun and delicious, everybody loves Bubbles, so maybe that is why this Sparkling Wine is Italian Bubbles and not Italian Spumante. The Secco Bubbles is produced in the Charmat Method, which is how Italian Sparkling wine is traditionally made. The second fermentation (where the bubbles are added) occurs in large pressurized vats, in this case it was fermented on lees (all the yeast and grape residue was left in the vats) for 30 days. This is a Brut wine, meaning not sweet and the alcohol content is 11.5%.
The color is a pale golden yellow with a swarm of tight, tiny bubbles. The nose is a little yeasty, with lemon, a touch of melon, a squirt of lime and green apple (core and all). The acidity is very well balanced, there is enough to give this Bubbly some length, but not enough to interfere into the flavors. It tastes of a mix of peach and pear, melon, tart apple and pink grapefruit. The mid palate adds a slight mineral water edge, along with apricot and not very sweet Orange SweeTarts. This is an extremely refreshing Bubbly, the wine almost evaporates in your mouth. The finish is full and lengthy.
The 2011 Secco is a very tasty, versatile, well priced (I found it selling for $12.99) Bubbly. Drink it on a tuesday night, just because or pair it with anything you would normally use a Torrontes or a Chenin Blanc and better yet, skip the high priced Champagne and pop the top on a few of these on New Year’s Eve. The Secco Italian Bubbles is a high quality Bubbly without the inflated price tag.