Happy New Year: Contratto For England Pas Dosè 2007, Oltrepò Pavese

Happy New Year Everybody!!! With my last sip of this very serious, rather stern appearing and overall wounderfully uptight „For England“ fizz from Contratto south of Asti in Piemonte. Its name „For England“ was influenced by Contratto's main market back in the 1920s. Then most of Contratto's very dry appearing - at least in these days - wines were exported to the United Kingdom and its colonies. Today, the grapes for this sparkling wine were cultivated Oltrepò Pavese region in neighbouring Lombardia. This 2007 was composed from 80 % Pinot Noir and 20 % Chardonnay. It was aged for about four years on yeast in bottle and wasn't indulged with any sweetness at degorgement. Which proved to be the a fine choice. I suggest … let's have this last serious sip!

Very bright and crisp yellow hue with a very few purely imagined rosé reflexes. Very lively and resolute perlage with unusually large bubbles. Nose of red apples, perhaps a bit Boskop apfelstrudel'ish ones, some granny soap … or ginger'y soap'iness, nuances of rosé flowers and impressions which reminded me of actual sea breeze on a cold morning. At first the taste seemed a bit childish playful and well equippeded with flavours of well baked apples, sulatanas and a hint of dispensable rosewater. I also got a rather vigorous touch of citric appearing acid. Besides such more becoming attributes – strictly in a popular sense, of course … and apart of the slighly kitsch'y rosewater and citric acid (later it go more dominant) – I tasted a very characterful and earnest appearing mineral touch with plenty attributes of dry saltiness. Surely not a pure monstrosity in terms of complexity and density, but a rather harmonious, convincingly lean, not gaunt although not far away - and very serious - sparkler! I am glad that this one was pas dosè. With more sugar and body this one might have been a bit too flowery mawkish for me! Anyway, probably there are more fun choices for an exuberant New Year's Eve celebration. Luckily I had some other fizzy stuff from this chalky land. Putting aside such preferneces  - a downright decent **** alternative ... 

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