The StoryThe Kirkland Asolo Prosecco DOCG Extra Dry is a $6.99 Costco import exclusive sourced from grapes farmed around the town of Asolo in the center of the Prosecco region in Veneto, Italy. In California, the wine grape growing regions comprise of unique territories known as AVA's, such as Paso Robles, Sonoma, Dry Creek, etc., these boundaries are all location-based there are no government mandates on which grapes can be grown, how they are to be farmed, and how the wine is produced. In Italy, the government uses DOC and DOCG to designate territories, but also provide strict regulations on many aspects of the grape growing and winemaking, with the DOCG (G stands for guaranteed) being the strictest level. These rules and regulations are put in place to ensure quality or with DOCG guarantee quality. That does not mean that a DOCG wine will taste better than a DOC wine, that is up to the winemaker and your personal preferences. But to my way of thinking the actual quality levels are up to the individual wineries because it is possible to make top-quality wine in all Italian levels of wine, DOCG, DOC, IGT, and table wine. Most of the Prosecco region is designated as DOC, there is a very hilly section in the middle of the area that is deemed to be the absolute best place for growing the Glera grape, in the case of the Kirkland bubbles in the hills around the town of Asolo. This hilly section is rated as DOCG. Now, here is a bit about how Prosecco is made, first most Prosecco in the value price range is non-vintage, meaning that several vintages are blended together to maintain a recognizable “House Style”, which is very important for Prosecco brands to create an identity. The Glera grapes (the exclusive grape of Prosecco) are kind of an empty canvas, you almost never see a Glera still wine (non-Bubbly) because it does not make a particularly interesting still wine. The Glera grapes are fermented the 1st time, each Prosecco House has its own winemaking tricks at this stage and when they decide the wine is ready it is transferred to huge pressurized tanks. These tanks are large autoclaves and are basically huge versions of the autoclaves used to sterilize surgical equipment and tattoo needles. Sugar and yeast are added to the vats and a 2nd fermentation begins. CO2 is released as a by-product of fermentation, but since the sealed vat is under pressure the CO2 has nowhere to go but back into the wine. This second fermentation can last a few weeks or a few months, the longer time allows the CO2 to better acclimate itself to the wine and become fine Bubbly. The alcohol content with the Kirkland Prosecco is 11%.The Tasting NotesThe color is a platinum yellow with a decent supply of tiny bubbles. The nose is lemon, green apple, melon, and grapefruit, with a hint of ripe juicy peach and a floral edge. This Prosecco has balanced flavors, solid acidity, and a nice dash of minerality. It starts with tart lemon, peach, Bosc pear, and melon. The mid-palate offers a juicy apple, a salty sensation, and not sweet lemon hard candy. The acidity is very persistent, it is not quite a lip-smacking acidity, but it is part of the flavor profile. The finish is strong and long.The Summary * This is an extremely solid Prosecco at an amazing price, $6.99. * There are only so many Prosecco producers from the Asolo region, with a little bit of sleuthing you can probably figure out who made it, but I would imagine all the producers from this area are first rate. * Keep the Kirkland Prosecco in mind for the Holiday party season, it is a steal at less than $7. * This is an extra-dry Bubbly which means slightly sweet, but remember solid acidity balances the sweetness, so the sensation is more nectar sweet than sugar sweet.
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