Il Prosecco colfondo 2011 di Carolina Gatti has arrived in SF !! Re-fermented naturally in the bottle and basically sur lee and not disgorged. This is the first time that Carolina’s wine is in the US. It’s an honor to be the one bringing her awesome juice in.
This is not “the ginger-ale of Italy” like Joe Bastianich called an industrial version of Prosecco that I poured him one night at Esca, back in the days. This is not a standard wine….where we add a bit of peach juice and the Bellini is ready. This is not a well marketed Prosecco colfondo that claims to be all natural but doesn’t taste like anything and it’s all over the US. This is a true version of Prosecco colfondo like it was made in the 50’s. Delicious, complex, and refreshing.
Carolina, who comes from a family that has owned this azienda since the eighteen hundreds, is the most hardcore, anarchic, and extreme of the colfondisti. Her equipment is “what the smurfs would use” she told me. Her vines are 80 to 90 years old average and they are trained in an old-school Belussi system where vines look almost like trees.
She has the smallest production. We are looking at 10.000 bottles. Her current vintage is 2011 ! Her Prosecco (she doesn’t call it Glera) needs time just like all great wines. It takes about 3 years for a natural protein stabilization. I have tried the 2012 but it wasn’t ready.She is not in a hurry. She is the only one that waits this long. Zero chemicals are used in the vineyards and at the winery. A very slow fermentation kicks in spontaneously. The wine stays in cement vats for over a year. It is then bottled and some of the juice from the first pressing, that was previously frozen, is used to start the natural re-fermentation.
Her Prosecco “sur lee” is slightly fizzy, rich, salty, complex, cloudy, and long. All kept in check by great “cedro” like acidity. I like to decant it.
She is not into marketing her wines and she is not running a business. She works the land with great ethics and respect and makes great natural wine. I think that her wine will be a big success. To bad that there is so little of it.