Review: Four Sparkling Wines for 2011
Just because New Year’s Eve has come and gone doesn’t mean you can’t keep drinking sparkling wines. (Remember, Valentine’s Day is just weeks away!) Here are four affordable and widely available non-vintage sparklers from our friends in Italy and Spain.
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NV Lamberti Prosecco Extra Dry – (Italy) – A very easy drinking Prosecco. Just the right amount of fizz, good acidity in the body, and lots of fruit flavor. Maybe a little heavy in the apple department — which lends it more sweetness than you might like — but perfectly drinkable nonetheless. B+ / $11
NV Freixenet Elyssia Cava Gran Cuvee Brut – (Spain, pictured) – The cork exploding out of this one nearly took off my girlfriend’s head, but we won’t hold that against the wine. Bright and citrus-infused, and a bit fizzier than the Lamberti Prosecco, giving it more of a creamy body. Simple, but quite pleasant. B+ / $15
NV Valdo Prosecco Brut – (Italy, pictured) – More melon on the nose and body here than the Lamberti, and a bit more fizz in it, too. A stronger overall flavor — including a tart finish — gives this Valdo more heft, but a little less finesse. Again, perfectly acceptable but not spectacular. B+ / $11
NV Valdo Nerello Mascalese Brut Rose – (Italy) – The only pink wine in this roundup (the grapes are Sicilian/Sardinian) and my least favorite of the bunch. Heavy rose petal notes on the nose are at first intriguing, but then turn a bit cloying. The finish is what kills it, though, a saccharine jamminess that is at odds with the floral character in the rest of the wine. B- / $13