The 2011 Secco (translates to dry) Italian Bubbles Rose’ Brut is a Sparkling wine sourced from vineyards in Veneto, Italy consisting of 80% Raboso Piave and 20% Pinot Noir. Raboso Piave is a grape indigenous to Veneto and by law must make up at least 70% of the blend. Secco Italian Bubbles is a project involving Charles Smith of K Vintners, his wife Ginevra and her sister Olivia Casa (the sisters grew up in the region). In Italy, all Sparkling wine is called Spumante, it is the generic term. Prosecco, which is produced using the Glera grape grown in the Prosecco region, can be referred to as a Spumante, but it is almost never called that. Prosecco wants to compete with Champagne and needs to be seen as a premium product. One of the larger Spumante producers got caught cutting corners with their Spumante a few years back, giving Spumante a tarnished name. This Bubbly, while it is of high quality, is not Champagne, can’t be called Prosecco and it does not want to get lumped in with what is perceived as lesser quality mass produced Spumante, so it calls itself Secco Italian Bubbles. This Sparkling wine is produced with the Charmat Method, the second fermentation, where the bubbles are introduced, takes place in large pressurized vats, in this case it take a month for the process to complete. The alcohol content is 11.5%.
The color is an orange tinted pink and has a good supply of tight, energetic bubbles. The nose is tart cherry, faint bouquet of flowers and apple core, seeds and all. This is a crisp, dry, Bubbly, it has fruit flavors, but they are not ripe and sweet. It tastes of tart cherry, light strawberry, a little watermelon and a touch of minerality. This Bubbly is crisp, tart and refreshing. The finish is the tart red fruit and lingers for a very long time.
The 2011 Secco Italian Bubbles is a nice, change of pace from the usual Prosecco and Asti Spumante type Bubbly you see on the store shelves. Served well chilled, it will do well with Brunch and light seafood dishes and would make an excellent base for Bellini’s or Mimosa’s. And, at around $12, it makes for a rather classy tuesday night on the backyard patio wine.