"In a perfect world, everyone would have a glass of champagne every evening." Willie Gluckstern
On our way to visit Bisol (discussed in my prior post) we passed by Il Follo. It was only about five city blocks away, on the same road. I was interested in tasting Il Follo as I had enjoyed one of their Proseccos in California a number of years ago. We agreed that when we were finished at Bisol, our next stop would be Il Follo. As we exited the Bisol winery, we believed we would be at Il Follo in about 3 minutes,but that was not the case as apparently the road sprites of Valdobbiadene were up to their old tricks. We drove down the road looking for the entrance to Il Follo, and we finally reached a crossroad. At this point, it was obvious we had gone too far. How we could have missed it when we were both so focused on finding the entrance I will never know. But after driving back down the road with no luck, we resorted to the GPS. Of course, the GPS was no better at finding it than we were. Just when we were ready to declare Il Follo no more than a hallucination, we saw a little sign with an arrow indicating that Il Follo was straight ahead. We proceeded down the road, but it just was not to be found. Il Follo had been swallowed up, hidden in a mist, or merely misplaced. After so many false starts, driving up one road and down another and passing by Bisol another time or two, we finally gave up. I was disappointed, but it was now time for the cantinas to close. And so with regret, we acknowledged that we would just have to wait until the next day to taste the products of more Prosecco makers.
Prosecco, today the number one selling sparkling wine in the world, is undergoing a transformation. Large quantities of less expensive and generally lower quality Prosecco are produced in Treviso (now classified as DOC wines) where the terroir, coupled with the fact that these vines are relatively young, creates a very different wine. In Valdobbiadene, also, there has been an explosion of new vines producing subtle changes to the Prosecco. There are still wonderful Proseccos out there, but there are also many new comers to the marketplace producing less expensive and often inferior products. Even an established, large producer like Il Follo, now makes their Extra Dry Prosecco from grapes grown in the Treviso doc area.
The Il Follo Extra Dry was the first wine we tasted. Unfortunately, it was not the wine we tasted more than five years ago. While the wine had a beautiful pale hue and a persistent perlage, with the scent of almonds and citrus, the flavor was unusual for a Prosecco. Both Jim and I agreed that there was the subtle flavor of bubble gum. And every taste I took reminded me of Bazooka Bubble gum, each piece wrapped in paper with a little comic inside.
Our second taste was the Il Follo Millesimato Villa Luigia Brut made from 100% glera grapes from Valdobbiadene. This wine was a classic prosecco with all of the traits I look for. In the glass the Villa Luigia has a soft golden color with a enthusiastic perlage. The nose was typical of prosecco with citrus fruits and flowers but also with a hint of herb and yeast. While in the mouth the perlage was lively, it was more subtle than many and the taste was citrus and almonds. This Prosecco had some depth to it making it suitable for more than just an aperitif. It could easily accompany fish dishes and even pastas with a light sauce or vegetable dishes.
The third wine we tasted was one that prompted my desire to taste at Il Follo on this trip. It was a rose Prosecco, Il Follo Cuvee Rose Brut. While my experience with rose Prosecco has been mixed, when you find a good one, it is very, very good. Unfortunately, at times the red grape variety and the glera grape seem to be dancing to a different tune. So, it was with anticipation and uncertainty that I tasted the Il Follo Cuvee Rose Brut. It is an interesting wine with a nose of wild berries and a little yeast. In the glass, the color is a beautiful pink making it very appealing. The perlage is quite lively and persistent. On the palate, there is an initial flavor of cherries, however, behind this flavor is again a subtle flavor of bubble gum. As I drank, I could not help feeling that the marriage of the two grape varieties ( glera and in this case cabernet sauvignon) was not a love match.
Coming up next, tasting from the tanks at Zucchetto.