Contratto Millesimato Brut 2011 is aged on lees for 4 years before disgorgement in 2016. It is a blend of 80% Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) and 20% Chardonnay.
Given its age and time after disgorgement, Contratto is showing some of the beautiful bottle development characters. It is rich, powerful, toasty, brioche and paté with walnuts. Lemon, floral notes, and some red berry fruit is evident too. The palate of Contratto is high in intensity, dry, zesty, with an oyster shell minerality. Despite the intensity, Contratto is quite light with racy acid and a gentle phenolic grip.
Contratto Millesimato Brut 2011, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
Contratto has been making sparkling wine for over 150 years. In addition to the fizz, they make table wine, vermouth, tonic, syrup. In their time, they were suppliers to the Italian Royal family and the Vatican. The cellars at Contratto are a UNESCO heritage site that is 5000 square metres of limestone caves. The family who owns the La Spinetta brand bought Contratto in 2011 with the purpose of riving it and making it better than ever.
Contratto Millesimato Brut 2011 Wine Review
“A sparkling wine with complex aromas of bread dough, cooked apples, hints of cheese and citrus fruit. Full body, lots of flavors and impressive richness. Develops nicely in the glass with pear puree and hints of minerals. Drink and enjoy.”
Piedmont is one of the most significant wine regions in the world. Its name means the ‘foot of the mountain’. Piedmont is in the North-Western reach of Italy. There are a lot of parallels drawn between the best wines of Piedmont (Barolo and Barbaresco) and the wines of Burgundy. The region neighbours France and Switzerland, with its border defined by the Alps to the North and west and Apennines to the South. These natural defences kept the Ligurians safe from Roman invasions. Luckily it didn’t work forever, as we may not have the wines that we cherish today.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to, and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring, as can malolactic fermentation. In a Champagne context, Chard can add mineral flavours, stone fruits and acidity along with some weight of fruit.
Pinot Noir is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one-trick pony. Apart from the best reds in the world, you can find world-class Pinot Noir rosé, sparkling. You can even find sweet wines, whites on occasion, and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.
There are 1000s and 1000s of grapes in Italy. There are sub-alpine cool-climate regions in the North and Sun-baked vineyards in the South. Add to that volcanoes and many cultures within one Country. You could struggle to find anything uniform about the wines. The best of the best include Tuscan reds from Sangiovese or Cabernet. Nebbiolo from Piedmont, especially Barolo and Barbaresco. The aromatic whites of NE Italy from Garganega, Pinot Grigio, and numerous crazy blends. The volcanic wines of Mt Etna in Sicily. And many more.
The only generalisation I will make is that a lot of Italian wine is undervalued when compared to a similar French style.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fizz, bubby, bubbles. It is a wine with bubbles in it. There are many ways to put the bubbles in and many styles and flavours you can find. Important to know that you should never buy cheap Sparkling. Champagne is still the quality leader of the world. But great Sparkling can be found in Moscato (sweet), Prosecco, Franciacorta (Italy), Cava (Spain), Australia, New Zealand, Loire Valley and Burgundy Cremant (France).
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.