In the high valleys of the Lessini Mountains, between Vicenza and Verona lies the vineyards of the durella grapes. The land is the ideal environment for the vines to grow for the volcanic minerality of the soil, ventilation and suitable day and night temperatures. Durella is an autochthonous grape variety that comes from ancient times and is described as acidulous with thick skin and rich in tannin. It's perceived as a perfect variety for making spumanti or sparkling wines.
These factors leave very favorable characteristics to the freshness and qualities of the Lessini Durello DOC sparkling wines. These wines have good minerality, aromas reminiscent of green apples and citrus fruits, fresh and pronounced tannins which make the durello unique for white wine.
The production of the Lessini Durello DOC sparkling wines is attained through two methods. The Charmat or Martinotti Method is fermented in a large, closed pressure tank and gives the wine a fresh and bright aroma. Whereas with the Metodo Classico, wherein the wine goes through a second fermentation in the bottle, it gains a prominent structure with more complexities in flavor and aroma.
Last 7 November 2016, for the first time in Rome, Consorzio Tutela Lessini Durello presented the opening of its wine tasting event Discover Durello in A. Rome Hotel. It is a succession of 15 wine events in restaurants and hotels all over the capital until the end of November (check their Facebook page for schedules & locations). It's the best occasion to discover this less known grape from the Lessini Mountains of Northern Italy. Aside from the 23 Durello wine producers present in the wine tasting, other international sparkling wine producers from Bulgaria, Spain, France, England, Argentina and Brazil were also present.
Casa Cecchin Lessini Durello DOC Nostrum Metodo Classico 2010
(90% Durella, 10% Pinot Nero)
Ca' Rugate Lessini Durello DOC Riserva Amedeo Metodo Classico Pas Dosè 2011
(90% Durella, 10% Garganega)
Ayala Brut Majeur, France (40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier)
Louis Roederer Brut Premier, France (40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier)
Philipponnat Blanc de Noirs Brut 2009, France (100% Pinot Noir)
Parxet Aniversari 2012, Spain (Chardonay, Macabeo, Pinot Noir, Xarel-lo)
Edoardo Miroglio Blanc de Blancs Brut Metodo Classico, Bulgaria (100% Chardonnay)
Edoardo Miroglio Brut Metodo Classico, Bulgaria (80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay)
Cruzat Cuvèe Reserve Extra Brut, Argentina (75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay)
Camel Valley Cuvèe Raymond Blanc de Noir Rosè Brut, England (Pinot Noir)
With a plethora of sparkling wine labels laid out on rows of tables, the walk around tasting was a fulfilling experience for any winelover. It's a grand discovery of a variety of aromas and characteristics unique in every bottle. Durello, as I discovered, is a dynamic sparkling wine that's unlike the other wines.
As much as I find walk around tastings remarkable where I can freely choose the wines from table to table at my own pace, a guided tasting is a more precise tool to learning about wines. Having a sommelier or the producer himself explain the wines is probably the best way to fully immerse myself to what I am drinking. That's the time when the glass of wine in front of me dramatically turns into something with a soul. The learning process becomes personal as I get to know every aspect of the life of the wine I am tasting. That night, there were 12 Lessini Durello DOC spumante from different producers that paved way to my significant discovery of Durello sparkling wines.
Cantina di Soave Lessini Durello DOC Settecento33
Fattori Lessini Durello DOC Roncà di Roncà
Franchetto Lessini Durello DOC Borgoletto
Tamaduoli di Bastianello Lessini Durello DOC Agliaia
Tonello Lessini Durello DOC 36 Mesi
Sacramundi Lessini Durello DOC 36 Mesi
Casarotto Lessini Durello DOC 36 Mesi
Sandro De Bruno Lessini Durello DOC 36 Mesi
Casa Cecchin Lessini Durello DOC Riserva
Bellaguardia Lessini Durello DOC 60 Mesi Romeo Rosè
Fongaro Lessini Durello DOC Riserva Pas Dosè 2008
Marcato Lessini Durello DOC AR 2006