Friday, August 01, 2008

A Quick Look at Carpenè Malvolti

Carpenè Malvolti is one of the largest producers of Prosecco, and when I stop in a supermarket to pick up a sparkling bottle I often emerge with their basic Prosecco di Conegliano Extra Dry, which goes down nicely and is nicely priced. But they make many other wines as well, and have been introducing impressive new wines at the rate of one per year for a while now. Last year it was Kerner, and this year it's Viognier, but we'll get to them presently. First, the Prosecco:

Carpenè Malvolti Cuvée Brut Prosecco di Conegliano DOC 2007
Pale brassy white with fine perlage that's quite intense. The bouquet is clean and bright, with lively green apple and pleasant savory accents. On the palate it's full and bright, with lively crisp apple fruit that flows into a tart green apple finish. Quite approachable, and will drink well as an aperitif or with foods -- Indeed, an Italian might say it's a tutto pasto, suited for the entire meal.
2 stars

Carpenè Malvolti Prosecco di Conegliano DOC Extra Dry 2007
Pale brassy white with fine perlage. This is a bit sweeter than the brut, and is their most common Prosecco. Its bouquet is fairly rich, with green apple mingled with some delicious apple, and some sugars, with hints of minerality. On the palate it's full, relatively sweet, ample, and quite soft, flowing into a tart apple finish. It's more direct and more approachable at a general level than the Prosecco Brut, though wine lovers will likely prefer the Brut. I did, at least. It's a question of stylistic preference.
1 star

Carpenè Malvolti Cuvée Oro Prosecco di Conegliano Dry 2007
Pale brassy white with fine perlage. The bouquet is deft, with green apples mingled with delicious apples, some minerality, and apple skin sweetness. On the palate it's full and rich, with clean fairly sweet green apple fruit supported by sparkle and moderate acidity that that works with the sweetness. The overall impression it gives is quite welcoming, and it will work very well as an aperitif, especially for those who are unused to brut wines. In short, a nice, approachable and versatile wine that will appeal to a wide variety of drinkers, though not, perhaps, to the strictly Champagne/Franciacorta set.
2 stars

Carpenè Malvolti Promotico Brut 2007
This is from the Abruzzo, and is made from an autochthonous varietal known as pecorino because sheep like it. It's pale brassy gold with intense fine perlage, and has a fresh mineral bouquet with some gunflint that gains in intensity with swishing. On the palate it's fairly full, with bright mineral-laced tart fruit supported by dry minerality and sparkle, while there is also an undercurrent of sweetness -- it's not bone-dry -- and flows into a clean bitter finish. Pleasant, and will work nicely as an aperitif or with foods; more of the cheese and egg sort than fish, I'd say, because though there is quite enough acidity to stand up to fattier foods there's an undercurrent of softness as well.
2 stars

Carpenè Malvolti Kerner 2007
Pale brassy yellow with fine intense perlage. Elegant bouquet with pleasing floral accents mingled with citrus and honeysuckle with underlying minerality. Elegant, and quite inviting. On the palate full and rich with clean honeydew melon fruit that gains direction from deft citric acidity and slight bitterness that flows into a fairly long savory finish. Quite nice, with excellent depth and richness, an wine that will work very well as an aperitif or with foods. Drawbacks? The bottle will likely go too fast.

Carpenè Malvolti Voignier 2007
Pale brassy white with fine perlage. The bouquet is fairly rich, with gunflint minerality laced with some citric notes and savory accents On the palate it's rich and bracing, with lively citric fruit supported by clean citric acidity and nice sparkle that flow into a clean tart finish with peppery accents from sparkle. It's quick to write, but quite harmonious, in a sassier key than the Kerner: If the former is a beautiful woman in an evening gown, here she's dressed to go hiking eager to set out.

Carpenè Malvolti Rosé 2007
This is a blend of 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Raboso. It's pale pink with fine intense perlage, and has a clean bouquet with fairly bright acidity supported by red berry fruit and spice, with underlying bitterness. On the palate it's bright, with clean minerality and some cherry and forest berry fruit that is more hint than fact, with pleasing fullness from sparkle and minerality that flows into a clean mineral finish. Very much a Rosé brut, and will drink nicely as an aperitif or with delicate meat dishes. Fish, too. In short, versatile.
2 stars.

Bottom Line: Carpenè Malvolti is doing some very interesting things. Want to know more? Their Site.

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