A master class on Moscato D’Asti , organized by the Consorzio Dell’Asti DOCG, was held recently at Del Posto restaurant in New York City. This wine, from Italy’s Piedmont region, has always seemed to me the perfect dessert wine because it is low in alcohol, slightly sweet, and a little fizzy. It deserves to be better known.
The speakers were: Luigi Coppo – Coppo Winery, Marco Dogliotti – Azienda Agricola Caudrina Winery, Gianpiero Scavino – Ceretto Winery, Stefano Chiarlo- Michele Chiarlo Winery and Andrea Costa- Marenco Winery
Each speaker brought one Moscato d’Asti for the tasting.
All of the vineyards for the Moscato grape in the Langhe, Piedmont have a southern exposure or mostly southern exposure. The training system is mainly guyot to give more sun exposure to the vines. Harvest is by hand because the vineyards are on steep hills. The harvest takes place in late August and is finished by September first. The maximum C02 pressure of the wine is 2.5 bars. Alcohol can be between 4.5% to 6.5% but most are 5% to 5.5%.
Moscato d’Asti is not a sparkling wine because it only undergoes partial fermentation in pressure tanks until the desired alcohol level is reached. The use of cold chain technology in the production process means that the aromas and flavors of the grape are preserved and the wine can be stabilized and be ready for storage and transportation.
Moscato D’Asti is a very pleasant easy drinking wine that can be drunk on its own as an aperitif before dinner or after dinner as a light dessert wine. Moscato D’Asti is very easy to like and when the tasting was over one of the guests said ‘all the wines were good” and they were right.
Moscato d’Asti DOC G 2018 “Moncalvina” Coppo made from 100% Moscato di Canelli. The vineyards are located in Canelli. A soft pressing is followed by a slow fermentation in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature until the alcohol level reaches 5%. During this process, part of the carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation is captured by the wine giving it a natural light fizziness. Residual sugar: 129.67g/l and the alcohol is 4.89. This is a fresh and aromatic wine with hints of peach and pear and a floral note. Luigi Coppo, the speaker, said that 2018 was a classic, traditional vintage for Moscato.
La Caudrina Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2018 Azienda Agricola Caudrina made from 100% Moscato Bianco. The vineyards are in Castiglione Tinella. Marco said that the Moscato grape is aromatic and requires a specific technique to preserve all of its fragrance in the wine. Immediately after the harvest the grapes are softly pressed, clarifying and filtering the must. The grape juice is preserved in refrigerated tanks at -2C until it is time for temperature-controlled fermentation, which takes place in an autoclave with selected yeasts. This is a wine with hints of apricot, peach and a note of white flowers. Residual sugar 130g/l and the alcohol is 5.5%. Marco said they have 25 hectares of Moscato grapes.
Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2018 “Nivole” Michele Chiarlo made from 100% Moscato Bianco. There is a soft pressing of the grapes. The must is stored in a tank at -2C followed by slow fermentation in an autoclave at a controlled temperature until 5% alcohol is reached. A part of the carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation remains “entrapped” giving the wine its mild, natural effervescence. Before bottling, the wine undergoes micro filtration to give it clarity, purity and stop any further fermentation of the yeasts. This is a fragrant wine with hints of peach, apricot and floral notes. Residual sugar 122g/l and the alcohol is 5%. This has always been one of my favorites.
Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2018 “I Vignaioli di Santo Stefano” Ceretto made from 100% Moscato d’Asti from vineyards in Santo Stefano Belbo, Calosso. There is a soft pressing of the grapes with separation of the must. Following decantation it is kept cold to stabilize the fragrances. Fermentation begins in temperature controlled, presurized stainless steel tanks until the alcohol level reaches 5.5%. This is the stage in which the perlage (fizz), typical of Moscato, is produced. After filtration the wine is bottled. This is a wine with hints of melon, orange, jasmine and a touch of honey. Residual sugar is130g/l.
Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2018 “Scrapona” Marenco made from 100% Moscato Bianco. The vineyard is located in the Bagnario Valley, Strevi. Scrapona is a single vineyard (cru) Moscato. Harvest takes place the beginning of September. The grapes are softly pressed and naturally clarified. Fermentation is in pressurized vats and is interrupted through filtration when the alcohol reaches 5.5% and a delicate perlage is reached. This is a wine with hints of apricot, lime and sage. Residual sugar is 120g/l. Andrea Costa, the speaker, said 70% of their production is Moscato d’Asti.