Moscato d’Asti. As you’ve never tried it before
It will seem strange to have an in-depth on Moscato d’Asti far from the Christmas season, panettone and family games. We suggest you taste this wine without prejudice. Sip it from the classic glasses, with new pairings to those we are used to, inspired by the tradition of the territory where Moscato Bianco has made its home. And lastly, we want to talk about bottles that are a few years older, which reveal very sweet surprises.
The magic of places evoked by Pavese
“A vine climbs on the back of a hill to etch itself into the sky; it is a familiar view, yet a magic door opens beyond the simple and deep rows of vines,” wrote Cesare Pavese in August Holiday. It is our duty to begin this tale with his words. Before a path that rises to the horizon (because Moscato slopes are some of the steepest), at harvest time you can breathe in all the aromas that you will later find in the glass. And yet, for many, vinegrowing here no longer has the magic. Industrialization altered the landscape and vinegrowing in these places in the last century.
A link with the territory that should be valorised
Moscato d’Asti as we know it today (made famous by the great brands that have sometimes forgotten to highlight the link with the territory), is the offspring of modern winemaking technology linked to the cold chain to preserve aromas and stabilize the product, but this doesn’t mean that it should be considered a constructed wine.
On the contrary, for some years, many producers have been fighting for the rediscovery of Moscato d’Asti and the link to the terroir, far from prejudices that still wrap it in a fog that is slowly clearing, fortunately. We are beginning to see the sky evoked by Pavese.
Moscato d’Asti from modern winemaking to the road to Canelli
From an essay written in 1930 on Luxury Wines, “How many virtues are summed up in a foaming glass full of Moscato, the nobility of the grape variety, the tenacity of the vinegrower heedless of the heat of the sun in the steep hills, the shrewdness of the cellarman, who in the shadowy caves spies on the movements of the wine and with a skilful hand guides its destiny, all virtues that contribute and blend together to make this wine one of the most valued gems of the Italian winemaking chain,” the manifesto of the Canelli wine producers could say something like this today, too.
In the area bordered by Asti and the Tanaro river in the north and by the Bormida river to the south, neighbouring the Langhe and with the Valle Belbo at the centre, there are 23 municipalities in the Canelli subzone, indicated on the labels of the 4 wines we tasted: Armangia, Ca’ de Lion, Cascina Cerutti and Scagliola Giacomo, all wineries that are deep-rooted in the territory and among Moscato professionals.
12 Moscato d’Asti wines to taste
Driven by curiosity to discover the most representative wines in this corner of Piedmont, we have chosen 12 Moscato d’Asti from the 2016 vintage, from the many Moscato producers that make this ancient aromatic wine in the 52 municipalities in the provinces of Asti, Cuneo and Alessandria.
- 499 Vino – Moscato d’Asti Docg 2016
- L’Armangia – Moscato d’Asti Canelli Docg 2016
- Ca’ d’ Gal – Lumine, Moscato d’Asti Docg 2016
- Ca’ de Lion Ghione dal 1871 – Moscato d’Asti Canelli Docg 2016
- Cascina Cerutti – Surì Sandrinet, Moscato d’Asti Canelli Docg 2016
- Dogliotti 1870 – Moscato d’Asti Docg 2016
- Forteto della Luja – Piasa Sanmaurizio, Moscato d’Asti Docg 2016
- Paolo Saracco – Moscato d’Asti Docg 2016
- Scagliola Giacomo – Sifasol, Moscato d’Asti Canelli Docg 2016
- Scagliola – Volo di Farfalle, Moscato d’Asti Docg 2016
- Seirole – Cü Bianc, Moscato d’Asti Docg 2016
- Emilio Vada – Moscato d’Asti Docg 2016
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