He’s also a super cool dude who happens to love groovy wine.
Berry Brothers & Rudd is Bele Casel’s importer in England.
Today, on David’s blog, he posted an “in their own words” 2012 harvest notes, a gathering of observations by winemakers in his Italian portfolio, including Bele Casel winemaker Luca Ferraro’s entry below. (See also David’s winery write-up, which follows.)
Luca Ferraro, Bele Casel, Caerano San Marco, Veneto
A warm winter brought budding forward by 10/12 days vs. 2011. Then Easter brought 10 cool days that returned the vegetative cyle to its normal pattern. June brought peronospera/downy mildew reducing the crop by 5-10%; a further 2-3% by hail in July. A very hot and dry August threatened but fortunately our soil supported the vine. Harvest started on August 28 and ten days later we picked the fruit from the hill of Maser (for Colfondo and Millesimato). Little fruit this year, healthy and very concentrated, hence we should expect a more structured and aromatic wine than in 2011.
Here’s David’s write-up on Bele Casel:
Bele Casel is an artisan Prosecco producer who Berrys are proud to have teamed up with. Based at Caerano san Marco, near Treviso, the small 10 hectare (120k bottles/anno) family estate lies in a fiercely protected subzone of calcareous clay hills called Asolo; the key limestone element giving wines a fragrant white peach character.
The Ferraro family have been at it since 1977, first bottling the aforementioned frizzante ‘Colfondo’ method but then when the market became too tough, accepting that they too had to make a spumante. Fast forward a generation and father Danilo (left in the photo), who kick started the family’s move to bottling, was joined in 1998 by son Luca (the tall one!), fresh out of wine school. Luca’s arrival ushered in a new cantina/winery, completed in 2003 that also allows them to make spumante for other small growers, along with the planting of a new vineyard, ‘Maser’; the estate being organic in all but certificate.
Bele Casel makes five wines: the region’s trademark wine style “Extra Dry” (16 grams of residual sugar), a more considered ‘Extra Dry Millesimato’ (23 grams), a crisp ‘Brut’ (10 grams), the frizzante ‘Colfondo’ and a fine Merlot! It’s a measure of the family’s competence and professionalism that all the wines without exception are of a high quality; each one distinct and great to drink.
That was clearly the case from the off as I tasted their still wines from the 2010 vintage; still in tank before destiny would decide whether they became spumante with the addition of sugar, or with grape must if they were bottled for frizzante (colfondo). I was struck by the bright purity of fruit, by the clear differences between their provenance and by the wines’ stunning length and sense of harmony.
While I’m sure you would lap up all the wines, as I did, Berrys have decided to get the ball rolling by buying the ‘Extra Dry’ and ‘Extra Dry Millesimato 2010’; the Extra Dry will light up any room; the Millesimato more earnest and measured, for a special occasion.
—David Berry Green, BBR Buyer