Wine Reviews: Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 01-12-2019

For the past five to ten years, I’ve read countless articles on the rise of Prosecco. It’s a less expensive alternative to Champagne, it’s gaining in popularity with millenial drinkers, sales keep growing, etc. And, today, Prosecco is indeed the world’s best-selling sparkling wine by volume — while Champagne brings in a whole lot more revenue.

Here in the States, I’ve seen a lot of Proseccos geared toward a younger American market arrive in my samples pile, and at my local grocery and wine shops. Especially around the holidays in the DC market, Prosecco was everywhere.

I’ll admit my personal bias up front: if someone gave me $100 to spend on Champagne or $200 to spend on Prosecco, I would not hesitate to snag that single Benjamin. And while Champagne-method sparkling wines are far more intriguing to me, sparkling wine isn’t a zero-sum game. And there are some good Proseccos out there.

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Conegliano Valdobbiadene vineyards (Source: Prosecco.it)

A good place to start would be wines from the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore appellation. This appellation earned its DOCG status in 2009. These grapes are sourced from the rolling hills of 15 different municipalities around the centers of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. The soils here are composed of clay, loam, sandstone and other elements, and the wines show more depth and complexity than your typical Prosecco. Some Conegliano Valdobbiadene wines carry the special designation “Rive,” which indicates wine grown from specific hilly municipalities, from a specific vintage, manual harvesting required, etc.

If you want to find the cream of the crop, check out wines from the DOCG Superiore di Cartizze. Within the Conegliano Valdobbiadene appellation, these wines are sourced exclusivley from about 100 hectares on the steep hill of Cartizze, and I’ve found these wines show interesting minerality and a lot of depth.

I recently tasted through six Proseccos from the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG, and gained some more appreciation for these wines, many of which show serious value. I received these bottles as trade samples and tasted them single-blind.

N.V. Sanfeletto Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Extra Dry - Italy, Veneto, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore
$17
Pale lemon color. Aromas of lemons, green apples and melon, chalk dusty, lots of sugar cane and dandelions. Zippy, light, fine bubbles, medium acidity, some nice creaminess to the texture with sugar cane elements. Lemon meringue, green melons, lots and lots of flowers (orange blossom, baby’s breath, perfume and clean laundry). Fun, fresh, nice and crisp and pleasant. 100% Glera from the Feletto area, 13 g/l sugar. (87 points IJB)

N.V. Le Rughe Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Extra Dry “Rivaj” - Italy, Veneto, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore
$18
Light yellow color. Nose shows lemons, green apples, topped in honeysuckle, dandelions, sea salt, floral perfume. Light-bodied and brisk on the palate with yellow and green apples, lemons. Lots of floral perfume, baby’s breath, dandelions, some chalky notes. I get elements of apple cider and cinnamon as well. Lean but some fun elements here, and nicely balanced. 15 g/l sugar. (88 points IJB)

2017 Bartolomiol Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Prior Brut - Italy, Veneto, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore
$18
Light yellow color. Nose boasts white peaches, green melon, apricot, with honey and orange blossoms. Fresh and bright and light on the palate with a salty, mineral appeal that is more evident than in most other wines in the tasting. White peaches, green melons, nectarine, along with baby’s breath, orange blossom. Very crisp and easy-drinking but significant complexity. 8 g/l sugar. (87 points IJB)

N.V. Valdo Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore “Cuvée 1926” - Italy, Veneto, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
$20
Bright lemon color. Bright aromatics with peaches, green melon, lemon curd, along with sea salt and white flowers. On the palate this is dry and bright with a salty, lemony approach, along with peaches and green melon. Perfumed, bright, with salted almond, chalky minerals, yet there’s a depth to this wine that is really attractive. (89 points IJB)

2017 Mongarda Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut - Italy, Veneto, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiorethumbnail (1)
$16
Bright yellow color. Aromas of peach nectar and limes, with crushed chalk, hay, baby’s breath and sea salt. Crisp and light on the palate, with a zesty, tart, mineral-driven appeal. Limes, peaches, guava, topped in saline, honeysuckle and sea salt. Light but complex, lean but lively, this has a lot of mineral and some oyster shell notes that really pop on the finish. Impressive complexity. 4 g/l of residual sugar. (90 points IJB)

2016 BiancaVigna Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Extra Brut Rive Di Soligo - Italy, Veneto, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore
$18
Light yellow color. Lots of depth, with yellow apples, apricot, lemon curd, with chalky, bread dough and seashell notes. Brisk acidity, a bracing appeal on a light-bodied frame, with candied lemon peel, orange peel, green apples, with lots of crushed chalk, meringue, sea salt. Lots of mineral depth here, a nice salty, briny element, too on a dry, bright frame. I really like this stuff. Only 2 g/l residual sugar. (90 points IJB)

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