First day back from Bardolino, and a couple of Italians. WHY I’m still drinking Italian bewilders me, but happenstance will occur. The bubbles a gift–the Sette Ponti a restaurant-buy. My adoration of Crognolo is well-documented on these pages, but the prosecco–frankly–just looked like crap.
But it’s not. Color me shocked, but this terribly-labeled, frothy Extra Dry is shockingly good. Beautiful pink onion-skin with a quickly-settling foam, it smells a bit vegetal, dry and EXTREMELY delicately fruited. Rather pretty.
Tasting it produces more surprises. Completely un-cloying, it enters timidly and grows in richness to a low pinnacle before dropping off shockingly dry and structured. Strawberry and guava are mere wisps against an acidic flat-line. I guess you can’t judge a book by the cover. Wonder what this cost?
Always eager to visit a fresh vintage of Crognolo, before adding to my vertical and forgetting about them. Seeing an 18 or 19 on a resty list is quite saddening, as people will never get to experience this INCREDIBLY BARGAIN wine where it really shines–at 10 years old. These are so ridiculously lean and structured on release–nearly painful to drink–a wine clearly NOT succumbing to the current dilemma of producers everywhere: Make a wine that lasts but shows good where 99.9999999% of everyone will drink it. My first visit with the 2019.
Beautiful dense ruby right out to the rim, a smoky, meaty nose with background cherry noise achingly mired in both hard, dry earth and chubby mineral. In the mouth, a reminder of this great bottling. Bright dark berry lurks behind stark structure, the former needing to elevate itself desperately before the latter. Thick and chewy, a banana-licorice-boysenberry dances trepidatiously over black-walnut and black-cherry foundations. Not my favorite Crognolo, quite rigid and meekly-fruited, but that’s what we WANT. I have learned these wines ALWAYS show this way young, and I’m completely on board.
2020 CONTE PRIULI ‘Millesimato’ Prosecco Rosé Glera/PN DOC Veneto Italy 11.0
2019 TENUTA SETTE PONTI ‘Crognolo’ Sangio/ME 90/10 IGT Toscano Italy 14.0