One of the nicest things to do at Vinitaly is wander about and stop when something catches the eye, for example a colleague waving from the Carpenè Malvolti stand:
Turns out that they have been working with Kerner, a varietal developed in 1969 by August Herold, who crossed Reisling Renano and Schiava in the Weinsberg/Württemberg National Teaching and Research Institute in Germany, and dedicated the result to Justinius Kerner, a local physician and poet.
Kerner, which is considered to be an Austrian varietal, does very well in high mountain areas, and was introduced into the Alto Adige in the 70s, where it adapted to its new surroundings well enough that it was included in the list of varietals allowed in the Valle Isarco (or Südtirol Eisacktaler) DOC established in 1993.
Carpenè Malvolti, which has long bought grapes in the Alto Adige, decided to see how it would work as a sparkling wine, and presented the results this year at Vinitaly. I was impressed.
Kerner Carpenè Vino Spumante Brut
It's a 2005, Lot 060831/K
It's pale papery white with fine persistent perlage, and has a rich, elegant bouquet with bright floral accents and hints of honeydew melon mingled with some sweetness. Very pleasant. On the palate it's rich, and full, with bright rose petal-laced white berry fruit that gains definition from underlying minerality; despite the brut on the label I found it to be fairly sweet, with this sweetness conferring additional roundness under the peppery notes from the sparkle; the finish is crisp, with green apple accents.
It's engaging, and will work quite well as an aperitif or simply with friends. It will also work nicely with foods, for example delicate firm cheeses or fish, including crustaceans, though I don't think it's quite crisp enough to work with richer, fattier fare along the lines of a risotto. In short, a very pleasant discovery.
After the discovery, something I've had before:
Carpenè Malvolti Rosè Cuvée Brut
This is a 2005, lot 06079-5/R
Pale rose pink with fine persistent white perlage that rings the glass. The bouquet is quite fresh, with delicate rose petals laced with raspberry and sweet strawberry acidity, which gains depth with a gentle swish. Quite nice. On the palate it's full, and rich, with powerful rose laced raspberry fruit supported by delicate raspberry acidity that carries into a long clean raspberry finish.
Quite nice, a wine that will work very well as an aperitif or far from the table, and will be perfect for a romantic occasion. Well worth seeking out.
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