Truly one the best Proseccos’ I have ever tasted. Marchiori’s Fondamentale Rive Alte is what Blanc de Blanc Champagne is to its chalky soils, a pure expression of soil & vine. Not only has Umberto Marchiori and his family preserved their heirloom varietals, they have also succeeded in expressing their terroir with incredible precision and character.
Fondamentale Rive Alte, Prosecco Col Fondo
What makes this wine exceptional? I'll start with the end product. Col Fondo is the traditional method of making sparkling wine in Valdobbiadene. The process is simple, beautiful and magical. After harvest and vinification, the weather would traditionally have gotten considerably colder stopping fermentation. What did they do? Well, the only thing the could the bottled the wine with residual sugar. By spring time with warmer weather fermentation would restart resulting in trapped CO2 bubbles! Now a day things are not as haphazard. By allowing the yeast to site in the bottle and re-ferment naturally Marchiori has created a completely dry sparkling wine(most Champagne has a residual sugar of 8-10g/L), with exceptional mousse and incredible minerality.
Now that you know about the process lets talk about the vineyard. With a south-west facing slope, 300 to 375m(1230 ft) of elevation and a mostly Calcarian soils Rive Alte produces wines with exceptional acidity and freshness. Combine the Soil with Glera, Verdiso, Bianchetta vines and the wine offer a glimpse into the Rive Alte hills and the growing season. Once harvested the must is vinified with natural yeast. During the spring, the wine is bottled yeast, residual sugar and all resulting in a second fermentation.
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With the dead yeast (lees in France) the wine is allowed to age until opened, 2, 3,6 years you name it!
Important to know: The lees not only adds that cloudy substance to the bottom of the bottle it also helps the wine age by attracting oxygen to it self. Another important side effect is the addition of yeasty, brioche like flavors to the wine!
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