Mission Codename You Garda be kidding
And now, for something completely different.
Pure bubbly Chardonnay bliss! Champagne clone, grown on the steep shores of Lake Garda, Europe’s crown jewel destination. How cool is that?
So is the climate here, allowing for the perfect grapes to give the French a run for the money, vinified in the right hands. Mattia Vezzola has been at it since 1936, defining the style here in Lombardy. Pressed very gently, and aged long following the Méthode Champenoise process, the result is fine and complex.
Lombardy has risen to global stardom for its Champagne method sparkling wines with the appellation of Franciacorta, right next door to Garda. Prices there have pretty much caught up with Champagne for the very best of the region, however Garda, with near-identical climate, terroir, and style remains under the radar. This Blanc de Blancs is a decent deal at the original $50s in lieu of Franciacorta or Champagne, yet with a massive break all the way down to $24 it’s an outright steal for the pedigree and depth it offers.
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous just last year pointed out how these parts deserve much more attention from sparkling fans, “when the average consumer walks into a retail store at this time of year, the word Champagne is usually the first thing to part from their lips. However, and I can tell you this from personal experience, once they learn that the average entry-level Champagne sells for $40 or more… let’s just say that you’re really looking for that Champagne-like experience without settling for the ‘entry-level’ bottle… Here we have a mix of the similar varieties used in Champagne, which are vinified using the same techniques… it is possible to experience something special through a bottle that shows complexity and finesse while communicating it at a much more digestible price.”
And remarkably they conclude; “In the end, I invite you to think outside the box. To look beyond the stereotypes in sparkling wine. To perhaps save a bit of money without sacrificing quality and, possibly, have and share a revelatory moment.”
Did we say double the 90 points to boost?
All that said, wish we had more!
90 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Costaripa’s NV Brut is 100% Chardonnay, and that is exactly what comes through in the glass. Smoke, minerals and spices add layers of complexity to the ripe tropical fruit as the wine opens up. This is a beautifully balanced offering loaded with voluptuous fruit, an elegant mousse, and a fabulous sense of harmony at this level.”
90 Points – James Suckling
“Not only is there enticing freshness to this sparkling wine, but there’s also some yeasty complexity. Apple strudel, croissant, baked banana and guava peel come to mind. The fine bubbles drive comfortably through the medium-bodied palate. Drink now.”
What the Winery Says
‘Mattia Vezzola’ Metodo Classico Brut
- Mattia Vezzola
- 100% Chardonnay
- Garda DOC, Lombardy
- Metodo Classico VSQ
- Glacial gravelly moraine & limestone
- 820 feet above sea level
- Age of vines
- 25+ years
- 2,025 vines per acre
- 24 months on fine lees
- Old 228-litre white oak casks