Casa Befli Colfondo Prosecco Frizzante is a Certified Organic and Biodynamic Prosecco made in the more traditional method with second fermentation in the bottle. It belongs very much in the Raw/Natural wine category which is not our speciality as many Raw/Natural wines simply are not palatable to everyday drinkers and many are definitely an acquired taste. I do however try as many of them as possible and if I feel the wine is accessible to a wider market then I will list it. Casa Belfi Colfondo was a definite contender from what I had read about it and when I finally got a sample I was both impressed and fascinated by it.
Firstly the colour and cloudiness are not what one would expect from a Prosecco and both hint that the nose and palate are not going to be what you expect either. If you imagine eating a lemon tart in the crater of Vesuvius then you are getting close. It really is quite extraordinary. It’s quite creamy in texture with citrus flavours and lemon tart. The official notes from the grower describe it as: Straw yellow in color with greenish hues, fine and persistent perlage. Flowery and fruity scents are accompanied by notes of citrus, yeast and bread crust. It is lively and full bodied on the palate, perfectly balanced in terms of acidity. The yeast present at the bottom of the bottle offers the wine softness and longevity.
On pouring you are wafted with a citrusy and slightly Sulphurous odour and the bubbles settle quite quickly to leave the wine looking a little flat, in complete contrast to what we imagine Prosecco to be like, but on drinking the mild effervescence is still present. It must be pointed out that the slightly Sulphurous odour is not due to added Sulphites as the Biodynamic certification does not allow this, it is due to the in-bottle, second fermentation. I’m sure I have probably put off about 95% of you by now but if you can get past the initial ‘Hmmm’, then there is a good chance this wine will start to grow on you. I was raised spending long, hot summers in the Tuscan hills and we used to drink wine, even when I was at an age which would be frowned upon in our current nanny-state society, which was made by the local landowner. Many people in the Italian countryside make their own wine, and Casa Belfi Colfondo reminds me of the raw, authentic style of wine made by locals we used to dine with rather than the more refined wines we are used to from the big producers. Quirky, raw and gorgeous.
This is not the average fizzy and fruity Prosecco that we all know and love. It confuses you at first and then slowly draws you in and makes you think this might be what you have been missing out on all these years. Clearly it is not for everyone, but I am definitely an instant fan and will be drinking much more of it I can assure you. If you are having dinner with the boss and his wife then it might be a bit of a gamble, but if you are having a night in and are feeling a bit experimental then I would highly recommend this wonderful, natural and unusual Prosecco.
I am convinced that winegrowing is something precious, and something to be protected by making precise and well-pondered decisions. And the nucleus of successful winegrowing always has to be a human being, with his or her exceptional effort to make grapes grow and turn them into wine. A human being that knows and preserves tradition, but using constant circumspection, and sporting the challenge of innovation — because tradition alone is not enough.
Casa Befli Colfondo Prosecco Frizzante – £15
QPW rating: 8/10
Further information from the producer:
Producer: Albino Armani
Production area: in our vineyards in San Polo di Piave (TV) according to the biodynamic method.
Grape varieties: Glera.
Soil composition: of medium consistency, rich of pebbles and well drained.
Growing system: guyot.
Harvest: by hand at the end of September.
Vinification: the grapes are crushed immediately and in a gentle manner, and the must is clarified by cold, static decantation. Then the must is fermented in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeast. The cooling and thermal stabilization takes place by using well water.
Aging: after fermentation, the wine remains in contact with the yeast in stainless steel tanks for approximately six months.
In-bottle re-fermentation: when spring arrives, the wine is bottled when nature is in blossom, and according to indications determined by the Maria Thun biodynamic calendar. During this period, the wine finishes its alcoholic fermentation as the transformation of residual sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide takes place. After remaining in the bottle for a few months, the wine can then be sold, and it can be stored for years before consuming.
Alcohol content: 10.5%
Residual sugar: <1 g/l Processing: no filtering and no clarifying.
Phytopharmacological analysis: the naturalness of the wine is confirmed by the total absence of chemical product residuals.
Sensory profile: straw yellow in color with greenish hues, fine and persistent perlage. Flowery and fruity scents are accompanied by notes of citrus, yeast and bread crust. It is lively and full bodied on the palate, perfectly balanced in terms of acidity. The yeast present at the bottom of the bottle offers the wine softness and longevity.
Food pairings: the tasting of Colfondo can be done in a number of ways: as a clear wine with hors d’oeuvres and first course dishes, whereby one must pour the wine very carefully, making sure the yeast deposits remain on the bottom of the bottle. As one proceeds in serving the wine, with dishes following, and eventually dessert, one must gently shake the bottle to enjoy it as a slightly turbid wine. Another possibility is to enjoy it as a natural, “unrefined” wine, obtained by pouring it into a pitcher kept in the freezer, whereby the yeast floats and oxygenation is improved. It is perfect as an aperitif, but goes beautifully with hors d’oeuvres, white meat, mixed fried
fish or grilled vegetables.
Service temperature: 14 – 16 °C.