Villa Sandi – Valdobbiadene

Hello again!

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Dacotah Renneau of Comunque Media & Public Relations via twitter introducing me to Villa Sandi and invited me to come and see them at the London Wine Fair and also at the Decanter sparkling wine event. Now I have written recently about the Decanter Sparkling event in a couple of blogs but felt that Villa Sandi needed its own blog.

Below is the Palladium style mansion of the Villa Sandi which dates back to 1622, which is now the company offices…. definitely better than most peoples workplace for sure.

The building is adorned with the beautiful statues of the Venetian (late Baroque) Sculptor Orazio Marinali (1643–1720). When I googled Orazio, for some background, not only did he live to the ripe old age of 77 pretty sure quite rare in the 1600’s but he has some amazing works all across the Veneto region.

Devoted to wine culture for many generations, the Moretti Polegato family, owner of the Villa, have fostered this ancient tradition by making Villa Sandi the headquarters of the winery.

villacolor_400x225
This is the beautiful Villa Sandi

At the London Wine Fair I finally met up with Dacotah (who has a great big bubbly  personality and enormous passion for wine) who then introduced me to Silvana Graziotini, the export sales manager for Europe for Villa Sandi who is very knowledgeable and passionate about Villa Sandi. I was actually under the misconception that they were just a sparkling wine producer……. WRONG!!!!! ………actually my wife says I’m wrong all the bloody time so its no great surprise. Apparently men think we know more than we do! Jury is out on that one…….. I digress.

The wines Villa Santi make:

  • 4 Premium still wines with Merlot, Cabernet, Raboso &  Incrocio Manzoni grape varieties. The last 2 grape varieties were new to me**
  • 4 Further still wines: Rose with Pinot Blanc/Pinot Nero; Sauvignon; Chardonnay & a Merlot too
  • 5 Semi-Sparkling (FRIZZANTE) wines. 3 Prosecco’s with Glera grapes, 1 Chardonnay & a Rosato with Pinot Bianco/Pinot Nero
  • 5 Grappa
  • 8 Prosecco with Glera 100%
  • 7 non Prosecco Traditional method sparkling wines called Opere. 6 white with Chardonnay /Pinot Nero & a Rosato with Pinot Nero

N.B. ** Well I had to go to look up these last 2 grape varieties. Rabosco is an old Veneto Variety and more interesting is Incrocio Manzoni “2.15” for its correct name which is a cross between Prosecco & Cabernet Sauvignon. Funny story about this as Luigi Manzoni obtained this grape by crossing Prosecco & Sauvignon Blanc…. however he took pollen from Cabernet Sauvignon instead and ended up with a red grape and not a white one! You may have noticed that I just said “Prosecco” grape variety. Before you tell me its GLERA you buffoon! actually the grape is called Prosecco and misleadingly has been renamed Glera for commercially protective reasons. Now who the hell knew that! Thank you to Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding & JosĂ© Vouillamoz and their EPIC encyclopedic book of Wine Grapes.

So I tried many of these wonderful wines and was overall very impressed. Especially the Prosecco’s. Dacotah said she would send me some samples to review, which arrived a few weeks ago. This gave me an idea. I have some friends that are quite snobby about prosecco and would always go for Champagne in bars and restaurants if they wanted some Fizz. TIME FOR A MASTER CLASS.

So I came up with a cunning plan, this was invite 6 friends round for a Fizz tasting evening. Wasn’t hard to sort as when my friends hear me  say I am doing a home wine tasting, they know they are usually in for some great food and more importantly great wines. My wife made up some fabulous platters of charcuterie, cheese, fish, Mediterranean vegetables, all stuff that could be grazed upon to accompany the evening.

So as they started to arrive, they all came in Taxis…. no surprise there as it was wine at Pete’s house I started to make up some Spritz’s (Aperol, Campari or Select) . Now I had reasoning behind this as I wanted to use a cheap supermarket bog standard Prosecco in them.

So all had arrived, chit chat done, we finally sat in the dining room, table full of food and quite a lot of empty glasses waiting for their fills of the evening, also which my friends were not used to were sheets of paper and a pens.

  • Name
  • Colour
  • Nose/Smell
  • Palate/Taste
  • Finish
  • Marks out of 5

“So everyone its only 6 simple questions, put as much or as little as you like. Its not a test and should be interesting for everyone”. 

I decided to start with the extreme budget supermarket prosecco left over from the arrival Spritz’s…… should have seen their faces… an absolute picture. This is your bench mark we haven’t started… this is what you think of Prosecco…. Its time for an education in the goodies that Valdobbiadene has to offer.

Just in case you did not know: Prosecco has 3 main types – DRY (the sweetest! between 17-32g/l), EXTRA DRY (middle of the road 12-17g/l) and Brut (less than 12g/l) which will always be the driest unless they are actually Zero Dosage 

Wine 1.

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Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Cuvee Oris DOCG NV

 

 

 

 

 

 

Villa Sandi – Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG CuvĂ©e Oris

  • Res Sugar : 22g/l
  • Grape : 100% Glera
  • Alcohol : 11.5%
  • Production Method : Charmat
  • NON VINTAGE

Very pale yellow in colour with persistent perlage, on the nose its quite restrained, with hints of apple, citrus and melon. On the palate its soft with a slight sweetness to it with fleshy apples, pears & floral notes leading to a lingering soft finish. This wine was enjoyed by all and everyone started to get very surprised by prosecco.

For everyone this was a fabulous aperitif or to be enjoyed with canapés.

How many Prosecco are there in this fizz test & are they really that different? I was asked, “another 3” I replied to blank stares….. Trust me they are all completely different!


Wine 2.

asoloprosecco_260x462
ASOLO Prosecco Superiore DOCG BRUT 2016
Villa Sandi – Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG BRUT

  • Res Sugar : 12g/l
  • Grape : 100% Glera
  • Alcohol : 11%
  • Production Method : Charmat
  • 2016 Vintage

Firstly if you are travelling in the Valdobbiadene region to try prosecco you must visit Asolo. I went there last year and its a beautiful town. Great shopping for the ladies, a few very good enoteca for all. I bought a few interesting bottles of wine there.

This looks the same everyone said, which it does with its very pale yellow colour. But when everyone smelled the wine the response was … oh this is quite different! Now I had everyone’s attention that Prosecco is far from a one trick Pony.

So on the nose this wine is much more fruity then the Oris, on the palate its noticeably more dry (actually half g/l in sugar). Again there are fresh apples but more crisp green apples, grapefruit type citrus and an overall fresher drier experience. The finish is much shorter, clean and dry.


Wine 3.

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Prosecco Superiore MILLESIMATO 2016
Villa Sandi –  Prosecco Superiore DOCG “Millesimato” 2016

  • Res Sugar : 11g/l
  • Grape : 100% Glera
  • Alcohol : 11%
  • Production Method : Charmat
  • 2016 Vintage

This wine is pale almost silvery zinc like in colour, bubbles galore here! On the nose its rock hard green apples, melon and wild flowers. On the Palate its softer, super fresh fruit with more tropical notes with a super creamy dry finish, although this feels slightly sweeter than the Asolo even though the residual sugar is the same. again everyone thought this wine was lovely. Now everyone was looking forward to the next 2 wines, even though they had no idea what they were!


Wine 4.

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Vigna La Rivetta Prosecco Superiore Cartizze 2016
Villa Sandi –  Vigna La Rivetta Prosecco Superiore Cartizze 2016

  • Res Sugar : 11g/l
  • Grape : 100% Glera
  • Alcohol : 11.5%
  • Production Method : Charmat
  • 2016 Vintage

Cartizze is the top of the Prosecco tree!


A note here from Villa Sandi about this vineyard: Production area: Cartizze is a small hilly area with 106 hectares of vineyard lying between the districts of Santo Stefano and S. Pietro di Barbozza in the municipality of Valdobbiadene. Within such area lies ‘La Rivetta’ vineyard owned by Villa Sandi. A true cru that is the result of a perfect combination between a gentle microclimate and a very old land with calcareous sandstones and clays.


As soon as I brought this bottle to the table, my friends thought this was going to be different. Its a great heavy bottle of a very different shape to all the others in the range. Talking of bottles everyone thought that the standard bottles looked amazing as they have a picture of the Villa cast into the glass. This is truly the flagship Prosecco from Villa Sandi.

In the glass the Cartizze is very pale almost platinum in colour with slight yellow hues, it has tiny fine perlage that’s extremely vigorous too. On the nose it really shines through with an abundance tropical citrus, soft golden apples and wild flowers. On the palate this is where everyone could not agree as its complex and so many flavours burst into the mouth. As the wine hits the tongue it foams up as the perlage is so soft and fine. Palate notes from all are, Apples, Pears, Pineapples, Melon (cantaloupe! Thanks John for specifics), white peaches and honey. Even with all these flavours bursting through this is so fresh and dry. The finish is a silky smooth delight leaving you with lots of complex flavours and frankly for everyone at the table WANTING MORE!


Wine 5.

Opere-Serenissima-Villa-Sandi-per-sito_260x462
Villa Sandi – Opere, Serenissima DOC NV
Villa Sandi –  Opere, Serenissima DOC NV

  • Res Sugar : 10g/l
  • Grape : 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir
  • Alcohol : 12%
  • Production Method : Traditional 
  • Non Vintage

Notes from Villa Sandi:

The new appellation Serenissima DOC is for Traditional Method Sparkling Wines produced in the area called “Pedemontana”, that covers specific hilly parts throughout the Veneto region. It was created in 2011 and the very first bottle to be produced and released is Opere Serenissima by Villa Sandi officially presented at Vinitaly 2015. The name chosen for the new wine-appellation is a tribute to the glorious past of Venice in the centuries between 16th and 18th, when Venice was an important commercial and cultural center, a lively city also known as “Serenissima”.


This vineyard is located on the Villa Sandi estate in Crocetta del Montello near Treviso.

This wine is obviously nothing like the prosecco’s tasted above as its made with Chardonnay and Pinot Nero. One of the first things noticed by my evenings guests was the wow factor of this clear bottle. As the glorious golden wine shines through the clear glass, the black, white and gold labelling with black foils making quite a statement.

So on to the wine itself!

In the glass the wine is pale straw with a silvery hue in colour. On the nose this wine is aromatic fruits with a toasty note bustling through. On the palate the fruit is citrus with apples, but then immediately when the bubbles break in your mouth turns to vanilla, almonds and toasted brioche. It almost has a toffee like character too but not sweet in any way. The finish is clean and fresh, yet its full of flavour and stays with you for a long time. This wine has spent 24 months on the lees and an absolute delight to drink now but I am sure will even improve further with some bottle age.


By the end of the tasting, everyone said they were blown away by the diversity of what they thought was just “Prosecco” and how different they can be. Also they all said they will always make sure they trade up Prosecco in the future.

Also what was interesting was I then said ok now instead of a taste you get a full glass now of any of what we have tried….. 4! different wines were chosen which is a testament to the quality of all these wines and the diversity that they offer.

 

Big thank you for bottle samples to Flavio Geretto from Villa Sandi & Dacotah Renneau @Comunque10 (twitter) of Comunque Media & Public Relations. And of course to the Villa Sandi wine makers for making these great wines too!

Info and contacts

Villa Sandi Via Erizzo 113/A 31035 Crocetta del Montello – TV – Italy PHONE. +39 0423 665033 FAX +39 0423 665009

DISTANCES: TREVISO 23km /30 min PADOVA 60 km/1h VENEZIA 60 km/ 50 min ASOLO 14 km/20 min CASTELFRANCO VENETO 23 km/ 30 min CONEGLIANO 30 km/40 min CORTINA D’AMPEZZO 140 km/2h VERONA 120 km/1h 40 min

 

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