Posts tagged ‘sparkling wine’

Sparkling Wines from Banfi

 

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

N.V. Bolla Prosecco Extra Dry

N.V. Bolla Sparkling Rosé Extra Dry

2013 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale

 

 

Banfi logo

 

Overview:

These wines, while not produced by Banfi, were imported into the United States by the company.  Banfi is the importer/distributor of over 30 different labels from around the world.  While the majority of these labels are from Italy, they also work with wineries in Australia, Chile, Spain and even a couple of American wineries.

 

These samples arrived just in time to accompany me on a vacation to South Carolina.  I looked forward to trying them in the warm South Carolina evenings before dinner.

 

 

 

About the company:

Banfi is a private concern, founded in New York in 1919 by John Mariani, Sr. and today owned and operated by his grandchildren.  The company is focused on the production and import of wine.

 

Banfi Vintners is the sole U.S. importer of the Mariani family’s internationally renowned wine estates in Italy: Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Tuscany, and Banfi Piemonte of Strevi, Piedmont.  Banfi also imports the wines of several other producers, including category leaders Bolla, Cecchi, Florio, Fontana Candida, Placido, Riunite, and Sartori from Italy, Concha y Toro and Emiliana from Chile, and Trivento from Argentina, Wisdom & Warter Sherries from Spain and Stone’s Ginger wine from England.  The company has ranked as North America’s leading wine importer for more than three decades.

 

Banfi’s success has enabled the company to play a broad philanthropic role through the Banfi Foundation.  The Foundation provided seed money to help Catholic Relief Services build a technical school and an orphanage as well as an 800-unit housing project in Potenza, Italy, where thousands were left homeless after a devastating earthquake in the early 1980s.  It also generously endows select charities and universities around the world, and sponsors annual scholastic tours to study the food and wine culture of Italy.

 

Banfi is led today by two grandchildren of the founder: James Mariani and Cristina Mariani-May, who share the title of co-CEO.  Their fathers, Chairman Emeritus Dr. John F. Mariani and President Emeritus Harry F. Mariani, continue as active counsel to the executive committee and are members of the firm’s advisory board. Banfi’s world headquarters is a 60-room Elizabethan manor located on a 127-acre estate and vineyard in Old Brookville, New York.

 

 

 

Here is the line up for this tasting:

Banfi Sparkling Wines

Banfi Sparkling Wines

 

 

 

N.V. Bolla Prosecco Extra Dry – SRP $13

This sparkling wine is made from 100% Glera grapes which were formerly known as Prosecco.  The grapes were grown in mixed clay vineyards in Treviso which is north of Venice.  The grapes were both hand and machine harvested.  The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks.

 

This wine has 11% alcohol by volume and 13 g/l of residual sugar.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow to straw color.  The enjoyable nose has apples, pears, lime zest, chalky minerals, some nuttiness and a hint of fresh baked bread.  This has a light body with small persistent bubbles and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  This is crisp and clean on the palate with nice length on the finish with lingering minerals and almonds to go with the fruit and nice sweetness.  This is an easy to drink, value priced sparkling wine.  (89 pts)

NV Bolla Prosecco Extra Dry

NV Bolla Prosecco Extra Dry

 

 

 

N.V. Bolla Sparkling Rosé Extra Dry – SRP $13

This sparkling wine is made from a blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Raboso.  The grapes are from hillside vineyards in Trevigiano.

 

The grapes are gently crushed and pressed then quickly separated from the pumice to avoid imparting too much color on the young must.  After the first temperature controlled fermentation, the base wine undergoes a second fermentation in closed pressure tanks for the “prise de mousse,” resulting in a fully-sparkling wine.

 

This wine has 11% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright pink to salmon color.  The appealing nose has cherries, strawberries, minerals, citrus zest and orange blossoms.  The wine has a light body with loads of small bubbles, crisp acidity and some light lingering sweetness.  On the palate tart cherries, minerals and citrus zest hit first with a touch of spice coming in on the back end.  This has decent length with some lingering sweetness.  This would be a crowd pleaser of an easy drinker on a warm afternoon.  (87 pts)

NV Bolla Sparkling Rosé Extra Dry

NV Bolla Sparkling Rosé Extra Dry

 

 

 

2013 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale – SRP $20

This red sparkling wine is made from 100% Brachetto grapes from Acqui Terme, Piedmont, Italy.

 

For this wine the grapes are fermented with brief contact with the skins.  Following fermentation the wine is filtered and stored 32°F.   Refermentation is in stainless-steel vats, after which the wine is bottled immediately.

 

This sparkler has 7% alcohol by volume and should be served chilled.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, transparent red color.  The fresh and fruity nose has candied cherries, strawberries, subtle earthiness and rose water.  This has a light body with nice acidity and a fair amount of residual sweetness.  The wine pours with a nice mousse and the pinpoint bubbles are relentless.  On the palate the sweet fruit grabs your attention and refuses to let go.  The finish has decent length and again is totally fruit driven.  This is an off dry to sweet sparkling wine that would be a hit at a party where the wine is not the center of attention or as an after dinner sipper with friends beside a platter of dark chocolate.   Between the acidity and the persistent bubbles this easily avoids becoming cloyingly sweet.  (86 pts)

2013 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Brachetto d'Acqui Rosa Regale

2013 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale

 

 

 

Closing Thoughts

This tasting provided a very nice variety of sparkling wines.  The two from Bolla would be perfect to sip on a warm afternoon, as an aperitif or with lighter foods.  The Rosa Regale provides more sweetness and could serve as a lighter dessert wine with a platter of cheese or dark chocolate.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Cremant d’Alsace Sparkling Wines

 

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

N.V. Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Prestige Blanc de Blancs

N.V. Willm Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blanc

N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé

N.V. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Pinot Noir

 

 

logo

 

 

Overview:

Talk about perfect timing, as we were making final plans for a vacation, I get an e-mail offering me four Crémant d’Alsace wines to sample.  Since we were driving, it was very easy to make the decision to take the sparkling wines with us to “sample” during the warm South Carolina evenings before dinner.

 

 

wine glasses

 

About the region:

AOC Crémant d’Alsace is the jewel in the crown of the sparkling wines produced in Alsace.  Fresh and elegant, Crémant d’Alsace is developed by secondary fermentation, and predominately made from Pinot Blanc, but also from Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling or Chardonnay.  These varietals are in general picked at the very beginning of the harvest, an auspicious moment when the grapes offer the best balance and harmony for vinification.

 

As early as the late 19th century, several companies in Alsace were producing sparkling wines by the traditional method, not only in the vineyard area but also in the cities of Strasbourg and Mulhouse.  This tradition, while less commonplace during the first half of the 20th Century, was continued until the creation of AOC Crémant d’Alsace, by the decree of August 24, 1976.  For the wine houses of Alsace, this decree produced the new framework necessary for the production of a high-quality sparkling wine, applying similar, strict demands to those applied in the Champagne region.  Today, more than 500 producers are united under the Syndicate of Producers of Crémant d’Alsace.

Because of its unique personality and outstanding quality, Crémant d’Alsace is currently the top AOC sparkling wine to be consumed in homes across France.  It has also earned considerable international recognition.

 

AOC Crémant d’Alsace represents 22% of the region’s wine production.

 

For more information on Crémant d’Alsace please click here.

 

 

Teuwen logo

 

I want to thank the wineries and especially Teuwen Communications for providing me with this opportunity to try these wines.  For more information on Teuwen Communications, please click here.

 

 

Here is the line up for this tasting:

Crémant d'Alsace Line up

Crémant d’Alsace Line up

 

 

 

N.V. Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Prestige Blanc de Blancs – SRP $18

Baron de Hoen is the brand of Cave de Beblenheim.  Cave de Beblenheim was established in 1952 and today consists of 120 winegrowers and 750 acres of vineyards extending over 7 villages.

 

This 100% Pinot Blanc uses hand-picked grapes and is made using the method traditionelle, in which the second fermentation occurs in the bottle.

 

This wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and has 10 g/l of residual sugar.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright yellow to straw color.  The inviting nose has apples, pears, spice, orange zest, minerals and a touch of nuttiness.  This has a light body with crisp acidity, very light residual sweetness and loads of pinpoint bubbles.  On the palate tart green apples, minerals and a nutty element hit first with citrus zest coming in on the backend.  This has decent length with some very slight lingering sweetness.  This doesn’t offer a lot of complexity but is still very tasty and easy to drink.  (87 pts)

N.V. Baron de Hoen Crémant d'Alsace Prestige Blanc de Blancs

N.V. Baron de Hoen Crémant d’Alsace Prestige Blanc de Blancs

 

 

 

N.V. Willm Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blanc – SRP $16

Emile Willm established the Willm estate in 1896 in Barr, just south of Strasbourg.  They are owners of the famed Clos Gaensbrennel, known for producing one of the greatest Gewurztraminers in the world.  The estate’s wines were the first to be imported in the United States from Alsace in the early 1930s, just after prohibition.

 

Grapes are harvested once the harvest ban has been removed, when the grapes are just about to reach full maturity, creating good acidity in the vivacity and fruitiness of the wine.   This wine is made using the méthode traditionnelle, in which the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle, followed by a 12 month maturation period.

 

This 100% Pinot Blanc has 12.0% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden-yellow color.  The appealing nose has apples, pears, minerals, anise, spice, some nuttiness and a hint of honey.  This has a light body with crisp acidity, pinpoint sized bubbles and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate this offers nice up front fruit, minerals and nuttiness.  The finish has good length with a just a hint of lingering sweetness.  Not a lot of complexity but easy to enjoy.  (88 pts)

N.V. Willm Crémant d'Alsace Blanc de Blanc

N.V. Willm Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blanc

 

 

 

N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé – SRP $20

Domaine Lucien Albrecht is one of the oldest and leading Alsace family owned estate, tracing its roots back to 1425.  Through the Albrecht eighteen generations, they have become one of the largest owners of prime Alsace hillside vineyards.  In the early 70’s, Lucien Albrecht, the father of Jean, the current proprietor and winemaker, was one of the three founding fathers of the regulated Crémant d’Alsace.  In 2004, Lucien Albrecht Crémants made history.  At the 14th Concours National des Crémants de France (Crémant Wine Challenge), they stole the show, winning an unprecedented Four Gold Medals.

 

Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir.  The whole cluster hand-picked grapes are softly pressed in a pneumatic press, hence the coral, light pink salmon color.  Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made by using the same methods as in Champagne, i.e “method traditionnelle”.  After the second fermentation in the bottle, lee ageing lasts for nine months, followed by remuage and disgorging.

 

This has 12.0% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright salmon pink color.  The enticing nose has cherries, strawberries, minerals, yeasty bread and a hint of citrus zest.  The wine has light body with crisp acidity and sporadic pinpoint bubbles after an initial blast of bubbles left a nice mousse.   Cherries, strawberries and minerals dominate the palate.  The finish has great length with just a hint of lingering sweetness.  Not a lot of complexity but very tasty.  (90 pts)

NV Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé

NV Lucien Albrecht Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé

 

 

 

N.V. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Pinot Noir – SRP $25

The grapes are carefully selected and vinified according to the “Methode Champenoise.” After traditional fermentation “vin de base” in tanks, a second fermentation (“prise de mousse”) takes place in the cool cellars.  Ageing is done “sur lattes” with daily bottle rotation, going from a horizontal to vertical position, in order for the yeast deposit to accumulate in the neck of the bottle.   At the time of “degorgement,” the neck is frozen and, enclosed in ice, the sediment is ejected by natural pressure, after which the bottle is corked and wired.

 

This Cremant d’Alsace Rose is made from 100% Pinot Noir.  The wine has 12.0% alcohol by volume and has 7.8 g/l of residual sugar.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly bright pink salmon color.  The fresh smelling nose has strawberries, orange zest, minerals and yeast bread.  The wine has a light body with crisp acidity and very persistent pinpoint bubbles.  On the palate strawberries and minerals grab hold slowly allowing orange zest to come through on the back end.  The finish has decent length with a touch of yeast coming into the picture.  Not a lot of depth or complexity, but tasty and an easy drinker.  (88 pts)

N.V. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d'Alsace Pinot Noir

N.V. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d’Alsace Pinot Noir

 

 

 

Closing Thoughts

These sparkling wines were all delicious.  Some may have lacked some complexity but that did not hurt the taste.  These had just a touch of closing sweetness but also had plenty of acidity to make your mouth water for another sip.

 

If you are looking for an easy to drink sparkling wine, I would wholeheartedly recommend checking out one of these wines or another Crémant d’Alsace.  These offer outstanding value when compared to a bottle of Champagne.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – 2012 Banfi Rosa Regale

 

 

This is based on a winery supplied sample.

 

rosa_label

2012 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale

 

The Winery

In 1979, John and Harry Mariani, family proprietors of Banfi Vintners, acquired a mid-18th century winery, known as Bruzzone, revitalized it and renamed the facility Vigne Regali.  Here, with the same detailed care as a century ago, our skilled winemakers produce “Rosa Regale” Brachetto d’Acqui D.O.C.G.  This rare Brachetto, a semi-dry, red sparkling wine cherished by the courts of Europe over two centuries ago, owes its reincarnation to Banfi.

 

Rosa Regale is created in one of Italy’s smallest production zones, the Brachetto d’Acqui Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, commonly referred to as DOCG.  It is crafted from 100% Brachetto grapes grown exclusively at the La Rosa Vineyard in the town of Acqui Terme located in the Piedmont region of Italy.  The label features a single red rose, representing the wines origin from this single vineyard La Rosa estate.

 

Rosa Regale has a delicate bouquet of rose petals and offers sensuous flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries. Its effervescence is softer than that of champagne, yet it yields a persistent and delicate pink froth.  Its lively garnet color makes other sparklers pale in comparison.  Served chilled and with a low alcohol content, it serves as the perfect partner throughout the entire meal, beginning as an elegant aperitif, moving to a savory appetizer and ending with a sweet dessert. No wine pairs better with chocolate than Rosa Regale.  The bright fresh berry flavors complement the sweet velvet of the chocolate.  Rosa Regale is a seductive red sparkler that turns any occasion into a celebration.

 

According to popular tradition, the wine was greatly appreciated by, and was the preferred beverage of one of the most famous characters of the Italian comedy in masks, Gioan d’laduja or Giovanni of the jug.  The figure is said to have drawn inspiration for his bubbly high spirits from this fizzy red wine with a fragrant foam.

 

Legend also has it that both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony presented Cleopatra with several gourds of Brachetto.  The empress then had her lovers drink the wine in order to unleash their passion.

 

Rosa Regale is produced using the Charmat process or Metodo Italiano (Italian Method).  This method forces the second fermentation to happen in large stainless steel tanks prior to bottling, rather than in the bottle like the traditional méthod champenoise.  This process is best used on sparkling wines that are meant to be enjoyed young and relatively fresh.

 

 

flute

 

2012 Banfi Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale

The wine is a light, transparent red color.  The fresh and fruity nose has candied cherries, strawberries, subtle earthiness and rose water.  This has a light body with nice acidity and a fair amount of residual sweetness.  The wine pours with a nice mousse and the pinpoint bubbles are relentless.  On the palate the sweet fruit grabs your attention and refuses to let go.  The finish has decent length and again is totally fruit driven.  This is an off dry to sweet sparkling wine that would be a hit at a party where the wine is not the center of attention or as an after dinner sipper with friends beside a platter of dark chocolate.   Between the acidity and the persistent bubbles this easily avoids becoming cloyingly sweet.  (86 pts)

2012 Vigne Regali Banfi Brachetto d'Acqui Rosa Regale

2012 Vigne Regali Banfi Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale

 

Conclusion:

This light bodied and sweet sipper is perfect for a small gathering of friends or to sip on the patio or deck on a warm evening.  With its low 7% alcohol, a second (or third) glass is not out of the question.  The general average price for this wine is around $20, but I see it being available via wine-searcher.com for as low as $15.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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