Enrico Serafino Trio
Enrico Serafino is a well-established house in Piemonte’s Roero. In fact, it is the oldest continually operating winery there. That’s not for nothing.
Italy produces lots of sparkling wines. So perhaps it was only natural that a house in Canale d’Alba started making some, especially when its first bubbly was Moscato. Yet, in a typically defiant Italian way, that Moscato was made as a metodo classico sparkling rather than a Moscato d’Asti style of wine.
In 2008, 130 years after the founding of Enrico Serafino, the sparkling metodo classic designation Alta Langa became a DOCG. Unlike other sparkling wine designations, Alta Langa DOCG wines must always declare a vintage. The quality focus here is impressive and bodes well for the future of this fledgling denominacion.
Alta Langa 2014 Rosé Brut 12.5% $27
Made entirely of Pinot Nero in a saignée style, this is a buxom sparkler. There’s good body and vivid acidity to support this wine’s plentiful red fruit concentration. The mid-palate, in particular, is impressively dense. While the nose is quiet – surely thanks to the 30 months of lees aging – showing only notes of toasted, sliced white bread, there are flavors of ripe strawberries, tart cherries and a wee touch of fennel. Medium in finish, this may well improve in bottle, but there’s zero need to resist it today.
Alta Langa 2013 Brut 12.5% $25
A smart blend of 80% Pinot Nero and 20% Chardonnay, this is a delightfully balanced wine. There’s solid medium body and a smooth, creamy feel to the palate. The 36 months of aging on the lees and a hint of oak use in production is to thank for that. There after, the wine is all tidied up by a bright punch of grippy acidity on the back palate and finish. The dynamic flavors range from poached, sweet yellow apple to donut peach to fennel. There’s just a touch of sucrosity on the finish that detracts from the overall presence at this time. This classy wine may evolve to benefit in bottle, but it seems to be at its prime now.
Alta Langa 2010 Zero 12.5% $50
Named for its lack of dosage, this is a bitingly dry wine. It is packed with leesy tones and flavors of water crackers, green apple and greengage plum skin. Clearly made with ambition, there are intriguing, nicely developed aromas. However, the feistiness of the palate falls short of alluring between the almost sharp acidity and the prickly, palate-tugging dryness of the wine. Even with food, this is a challenge to enjoy. Something is awry here.