Contratto of Alta Langa: An Impressive Showing of Metodo Clasico

Italy makes some of the world’s great sparkling wines.  We’re used to tasting the superb ones coming out of Franciacorta as well as Trento. Now, Piedmont’s Contratto joins this elite group.  Contratto was founded in 1867 by Giuseppe Contratto, making it the oldest Champagne-style (i.e., metodo classico) producer (originally, mostly from Moscato grapes) in Italy.  The winery was purchased by Giorgio Rivetti in 2011 with the aim of raising the quality and reputation of the brand.  Mauro Ferrero, who has worked at Contratto since 1978, continues but with the support of Andrea Rivetti, Giorgio’ son, and the financial and marketing resources of La Spinetta.  The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir fruit for Contratto is now sourced from high altitude vineyards (up to 850m elevation) in Alta Langa.  And improvements continue to be made. Most recently, in 2015 Contratto planted its new, high altitude (720m elevation) vineyard in Bossolasco (Alta Lange).  Annual production of Contratto sparkling wine is now about 12 thousand cases.

US Importer: Indigenous Selections.

The Wines

Contratto 2013 Millesimato Pas Dosé Metodo Classico Alta Langa 92   Light yellow straw.  Showing scents of lemon and toast, this is a fresh and appealing sparkling wine made using the methode champenoise and aged almost five years on the lees in bottle. It’s zero dosage, but the fruit is rich and ripe enough that the wine is full and flavorful even without residual sugar. It has a fine, abundant mousse, a soft, mouthfilling texture, and lingering lemony fruit on the finish.  This is a well-made and delicious gastronomic sparkling wine.  It should go superbly with roast chicken or creamy pasta dishes.  A blend of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir. RS 0 g/L

Contratto 2010 Cuvée Novecento Pas Dosé Metodo Classico Alta Langa 94  Pale straw. Introduced by scents of brioche and river stones, the 2010 Cuvée Novecento Pas Dosé offers a rich, full palate that’s beautifully balanced by bright acidity and notes of orchard fruit, toast, and bright citrus.  The finish is long, focused, and full of extract. A first-class Champagne-like sparkling wine. A blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir matured on the fine lees for 90 months. Disgorged March 14, 2019.

Contratto 2015 For England Pas Dosé Blanc de Noir Alta Langa 94 Light coppery peach color. The For England Blanc de Noir Pas Dosé is a very special sparkling wine offering superb balance and complexity along with a firm structure. The bouquet is multifaceted with notes of flint, yellow cherry and a hint of baked apple. It’s broad and mouth filling on the palate offering complex mineral and subtle fruit notes. The whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Made of 100% old vine Pinot Noir and aged almost 4 years on the lees in bottle. 0 g/L RS  Disgorged January 24, 2020.

 

 

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