Ferdinando Principiano Spumante Extra Brut Rosé Belén 2015
Winegrower: Ferdinando Principiano
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Picture medieval villages atop sprawling vineyards fragranced with the aromas of truffles – this is the Langhe Valley in Piedmont. It’s also the home of today’s traditionally made Spumante Extra Brut Rosé Belén 2015. And by ‘traditionally made’ we mean the Champagne method, or Metodo Classico as the Italians call it. Partridge eye in colour, the beautiful, fine creamy bubbles give it a fresh and stunning mouthfeel, and along with the nuanced flavours of brioche and lemon zest it delivers exactly what you’d expect from a Champagne. It’s beautifully aromatic with floral and fresh red raspberry notes. On the palate it is a bit richer than Champagne because Piedmont is warmer and produces grapes of greater ripeness. This delightful sparkling rosé is from Ferdinando Principiano, one of the leading natural winegrowers in Italy and one of the Piedmont’s top producers. It’s an elegant and dry rosé that you will not soon forget.
The Principiano family have been farmers and winemakers in Piedmont since 1700, but it wasn’t until 1993 that all of the family’s land was converted to vineyards. Previously it was a mixed farm that also made wine. Ferdinando took over the estate from his father the same year. After a ‘false start’ making modern styled wines, which he was richly rewarded with all sorts of high scores from the critics, he abruptly switched gears and started to produce traditional Barolos, Barberas and Dolcettos. He also became one of the leaders of Italy’s natural wine movement and hasn’t looked back since.
Spumate Extra Brute Rosé Belén 2015 is the product of Barbera grapes from the vineyard used to produce Ferdinando’s Barbera d'Alba DOC. The grapes are handpicked about 15-days earlier, and a must extracted from the same grapes is added for the secondary fermentation rather than sugar. The wine rests on its lees for about a year. This elegant and dry rosé is beautifully aromatic with fresh raspberries, apricot, ripe tropical fruit and honey notes. The delicate small bubbles give it a fresh and stunning mouthfeel. On the palate it is crisp, fresh and grippy with distinct notes of raspberry and a subtle salinity. The finish is long and supported by a racy, refreshing acidity. Serve at 16˚ to 18° in Champagne Flutes or better yet Burgundy stems so as to best capture this rosé's beautiful aromatics. Only 250 cases were produced.