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Bisol at the SuperBOWL 29/10/2005 (TNB)

Prosecco is not the rarest or most expensive of wines, but I was rather looking forward to tasting the line-up from Bisol and it did not disappoint. It rapidly became clear that the Estate is trying to make the best possible wine with the right blend of innovation and imagination grounded in tradition. It's a difficult trick: I feel there's a limit to what you can do with the grape (Prosecco is a grape by the way) and the method of secondary fermentation in tank - there must be a danger of getting carried away and trying to create a star wine that will just seem overwrought.

The basic NV and the vineyard selection "Crede" are both off-dry with an attractive floral character and about 10 grams/litre of sugar and sell at around 8 and 11 pounds respectively. Worth paying for the latter although the former is perfectly drinkable.

The more expensive wines are very much towards the sweet end of demi-sec: the special selection Garnei and the Cartizze (which is by reputation the best area) run to 20 and 25 grams per litre respectively. Both seem nicely balanced wines with some complexity - the latter particularly interesting enough for me to fancy drinking a bottle properly some time and giving it some serious attention.

Champagne of course is the elephant in the room - impossible to avoid comparisons whenever sparkling wine is discussed. Well, I'd sooner drink the Crede than try and find something interesting among supermarket Champagnes. I feel the fact that it's made on a human scale with care and attention shows. The basic wine is a very serviceable sub-Champagne fizz too. The Cartizze retails around 17-18 pounds - an amount that will get you a good grower's Champagne. I think nine times out of ten I would have the Champagne, but the Prosecco is something different, sitting somewhere between Champagne and Moscato in general style and with food that suits sweetness or on a Summer day in the garden I might prefer it.

The sweetness thing is worth a little thought. I feel the quality of the Prosecco grape might be a bit exposed if they were made bone-dry and also that the sweeter wines carry their sugar content a bit more graciously than sweet Champagnes usually do. I liked these wines and will look out for them in future.

Tasting report added to Fine Wine Diary 11/11/2005   Return to top