With the rise and rise of prosecco, Italy’s other sparkling wines have been overshadowed.
Thus, only limited attention goes to classy Franciacorta (made using the traditional champagne methods remember) and to the impressive top-end versions of Asti Spumante.
But, today, we do go a step beyond prosecco to give fizz from another region some decent coverage.
It is a recent arrival in Majstic, and uses a grape variety few folk will have encountered.
My second featured wine is also about an offering currently receiving insufficient attention – sauvignon blanc from Bordeaux.
Not only is good sauvignon produced there but the region’s legendary blending skills allow other grape varieties to help make the resulting wine even better.
For an illustration of how well it works head to the first part of the main body of this post.
In the usual way, hyperlinks and pictures appear where possible to help you locate the bottle in question.
See those blending skills in action.
2021 CH Rousseau Bordeaux Sauvignon Semillon (£6.50 at Asda):
Bordeaux versions of sauvignon often score highly because (as here) semillon is blended in to create a richer wine than straight sauvignon would.
Textured, with a long finish, this example delivers restrained pear, melon and peach flavours.
These are then turbo-charged by citrus peel and grapefruit acidity within a smooth, clean, mildly savoury depth.
Next that Italian sparkler
Forchir Ribolla Gialla Spumante Brut (from £9.99 at Majestic):
Wine producers in Italy’s Friuli region (closer to the border with Slovenia than prosecco country) have, surely, been super-impressed by the success of prosecco.
So, here, they have used the region's ribolla gialla grape (rather than glera) to develop a sparkling wine of their own.
This example is more savoury than prosecco – but less boisterous, with its initially exuberant bubbles quickly quietening down.
However, it does have a neat flavour range that contains unassuming red apple and tangerine constituents.
Lemon acidity, a cream soda mouthfeel and vaguely nutty finish all fall in behind them in supporting roles.
See you again on Thursday when I again put the spotlight on the wines of Aldi but focus on white wines this time – after October’s review of that retailer's reds.
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