The elegance of an unexpected Classic Method: Riserva Alfredo Barollo
Is it possible to create a Classic Method sparkling wine of great excellence, in a land historically known for the production of Prosecco? We bet on it and it was immediately a wonderful discovery.
Those who know the Barollo family know well that 20 years ago, when all this took shape, we chose to put our dreams in the hands of a grape variety that has always fascinated us with its elegance and versatility: Chardonnay . A wonderful international variety capable of producing truly intriguing base wines, which maintain their fruity aromas and their characteristic freshness even after aging and sparkling winemaking .
Our Chardonnay vineyards grow strong and lush, laying their roots in a land that contains the memory of the sea and which gives the grapes its typical flavor. An ideal microclimate for a grape variety like Chardonnay, which loves warm and temperate climates, mild winters and fresh winds that reduce the summer heat.
Our Classic Plain Method made from Chardonnay grapes.
20 years ago we started from him, from Chardonnay, which we chose to interpret in 3 versions: vinification in steel for a young and fresh wine ( Frater Bianco ), maturation for 10 months in wooden barriques for greater structure ( Barricaded Chardonnay ) and the sparkling version, with a Riserva Classic Method that ages on its yeasts for 72 months . 2 hectares of our Chardonnay vineyards are dedicated exclusively to this label, for a niche production of around 3,500 bottles per year.
The strictly manual harvest precedes a very slow and soft pressing of the whole bunches, followed by a controlled fermentation between 17°-19° and an initial maturation in stainless steel tanks. Between March and April we bottle our Classic Method for secondary fermentation and stack the bottles in aging rooms at a controlled temperature between 12°-14°.
It is in this phase that the yeasts progressively begin to degrade the sugars and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide, giving rise to the characteristic perlage of sparkling wine. From this moment on, the slow and patient maturation phase begins: 72 months which will determine wonderful aromas of citrus fruits , dried flowers and bread crust , while its creaminess will become more and more fascinating.
Classic Method: the oldest sparkling wine making system in the world.
Also known as méthode Champenoise , the Classic Method is the oldest sparkling wine making system in the world, born (according to tradition) from an intuition of the French abbot Pierre Pérignon, better known as Dom Pérignon , who was the first to understand the importance of refermentation in the bottle for the production of sparkling wines. An intuition that had a great influence on wine culture in the Champagne region and which soon spread throughout the world.
After 7 years of patient waiting, the bottles of Metodo Classico Riserva Alfredo Barollo are arranged in an upside down and inclined position on the typical wooden stands (the pupitres ) to start the remuage process: every day, for 40 days, all the bottles they are rotated by hand by 1/4 or 1/8, clockwise or anti-clockwise, depending on need: a precise movement that "shakes" the bottle and allows the residues (mainly exhausted yeasts) to collect towards the neck and settle in the capsule.
Disgorgement, the extremely delicate final operation.
Necessary to open the bottles, disgorgement (or in its original French term “ degorgement ”) is a fundamental operation to remove the yeasts that produced the fermentation and obtain a perfectly clear and crystalline Classic Method sparkling wine. Disgorgement involves a first phase of freezing the neck of the bottle, in which it is turned upside down and immersed in a saturated solution of salts at a temperature of -30°.
When opening the bottle, the strong internal pressure causes the rapid expulsion of the cork and all the impurities. Subsequently the bottle is topped up with the liquer d'expedition , a solution of wine and sugar that allows the acidity of the wine to be controlled.
Pure Chardonnay, the Metodo Classico Riserva Alfredo Barollo surprises at first glance. Not only because it is a classic method born in a wine-growing area that has always been destined for the production of Prosecco, but above all for its intriguing elegance and an always fresh and consistent sip.
With a beautiful gold color, it offers a complex, rather layered and nuanced bouquet on the nose: it opens with hints of citrus fruits and yeast which are then enriched with notes of dried flowers and spiced bread . The sip offers excellent drinkability, consistency, fine carbonation, fresh and perfectly balanced acidity , guaranteeing seriousness and structure to this wine. The finish is clean, with toasted and floral returns.
Andreas Larsson , World's Best Sommelier in 2007 and world-renowned professional, tasted our Metodo Classico Riserva Alfredo in his 2011 vintage . Click here to watch the review!