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Simon’s Wine of the Week - La Fornarina Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG

Morning all, Simon’s Wine of the Week is La Fornarina Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG Some of you may be wondering why I’m featuring a Prosecco as my Wine of the Week. Surely the all-conquering behemoth Italian fizz needs no help from the likes of me; it sells itself and we can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. Last year over 120 million bottles of Prosecco were drunk in the UK, which accounts for a quarter of Italy’s exports. That is a lot of fizz. But there is Prosecco, and there is Prosecco. Most of those bottles sold were discounted from the supermarket, designed to be drunk by the bucket load (sometimes literally) and not thought about. Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes you want your fizz to be a bit more thought provoking. Which is where this lovely fizz comes in. Because there’s Prosecco, and there’s Valdobbiadene Prosecco. Most Prosecco comes from vineyards on the plains of Veneto and Friuli in Northeast Italy. To make these sparkling wines at the right price the process is highly intensive, with vast vineyards, mechanical harvesting, and high yields getting as many grapes from every hectare as you can. In Valdobbiadene you can’t do any of that. This small area is centred around the hills of Conegliano (still seen occasionally on bottles) and Valdobbiadene, and is the historic birthplace of Prosecco. Here the grapes are grown in hilly vineyards that face towards the sun, making the grapes riper and richer. Pruning and harvesting is done by hand, which is more expensive, but leads to better quality grapes. These factors mean that Valdobbiadene wines are more complex and as such have the distinction of the higher quality appellation of DOCG, not the standard DOC. The La Fornarina Valdobbiadene is a recent addition the portfolio. We’ve been stocking their award-winning Prosecco and Prosecco Rose for a while, and I’ve always been incredibly impressed with them when tasting; they really are a step up from the usual supermarket fare. The Valdobbiadene takes it up another step though. It is really concentrated and complex but still incredibly refreshing. The nose still has that classic pear, green apple and citrus backbone you would expect from Prosecco but there are hints of white flower, melon and peach. The bubbles are delicate and fine in the mouth, and perfectly balance the fruit, and there is a distinct creaminess to the texture. Again, there is the pear and apple, but it is much more intense, with more stone fruit to support it. It really is a step up when it comes to Prosecco and would suit any establishment that wants to stock a Prosecco but really wants to show the quality of what they serve. Drink on its own in the sun, or perfect with shellfish, smoked salmon, or a classic margarita pizza. Have a great week all, Simon
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