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Folonari Asti Spumante
Color: Golden straw.
Nose: Characteristic and fragrant.
Flavor: Sweet and aromatic.
Food Pairings: Excellent with dry sweets and desserts in general, very good with chestnuts.
The history of Folonari dates from 1825, when Francesco Folonari founded the firm in Valcamonica in the Veneto. In the latter half of the 19th century, he and his sons moved to Brescia, establishing one of Italy's first winemaking facilities. They pioneered the production and distribution of wine in bottle, thus making it possible for consumers to drink wines of good and constant quality on an everyday basis. This philosophy continues to guide the firm today as it offers a range of typical regional wines from the most popular viticultural areas.
Folonari Soave is the daily choice of many discriminating wine drinkers, an easy; gentle dry wine, which everyone will enjoy. Pinot Grigio is a fresh, dry varietal with a subtle touch of almonds, grown in the Veneto district, and the perfect step up from Folonari Soave. Compare Folonari Pinot Grigio to examples selling several times its modest price! Merlot, a soft, round red wine pleasing to all palates, is a terrific bargain in a variety, and still very fashionable. In keeping with their tradition of assuring value for money, Folonari also offers a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon at a fraction of the cost of comparable wines as well as other selections in keeping with their tradition of assuring value for money.
Set upon a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, the enchanting and rolling hills of Piedmont are the source of some of the country’s longest-lived and most sought-after wines. Vineyards cover a great majority of the land area—especially in Barolo—with the most prized sites at the top hilltops or on south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. Piedmont has a continental climate with hot, humid summers leading to cold winters and precipitation year-round. The reliable autumnal fog provides a cooling effect, especially beneficial for Nebbiolo, Piedmont’s most prestigious variety.
In fact, Nebbiolo is named exactly for the arrival of this pre-harvest fog (called “nebbia” in Italian), which prolongs cluster hang time and allows full phenolic balance and ripeness. Harvest of Nebbiolo is last among Piedmont's varieties, occurring sometime in October. This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure; the best examples can require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. Across the Tanaro River, the Roero region, and farther north, the regions of Gattinara and Ghemme, also produce excellent quality Nebbiolo.
Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin and juicy red fruit. Dolcetto, Piedmont’s other important red grape, is usually ready within a couple of years of release.
White wines, while less ubiquitous here, should not be missed. Key varieties include Arneis, Cortese, Timorasso, Erbaluce and the sweet, charming Muscat, responsible for the brilliantly recognizable, Moscato d'Asti.
A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.
There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.