panorama  › Wine 24

The manifold simplicity of Ca' d'Gal Asti sparkling wine

by Claudio Celio

The winery is located in Valdivilla, in Piedmont's province of Cuneo. Owner Alessandro Boido tells us how the name – “Ca' d'Gal,” “Home of the Rooster” – was picked by his grandfather, sole male in a family of women, who felt somewhat like “the cock of the walk.”

These days, the owner is possibly not quite as carefree: in his job, Alessandro is precise and meticulous in running his over 11 hectares (27 acres) under vine. The vines were planted 55-60 years ago on slightly sandy terrain Alessandro's been tending since 1990: old vines that yield a few of the greatest Moscato d'Astis in Italy, like Vigna Vecchia and Sant'Ilario, both delightfully forward and incredibly cellar-worthy.

In recent years, Ca' d'Gal has extended its range beyond these pinnacle wines to include an Asti Spumante – a sweet sparkling wine from Moscato grapes – produced from the younger vines on the property: an entry-level item that prepares one for the more demanding Moscatos yet maintains Ca' d'Gal's hallmark grapegrowing and winemaking style, the same as the higher-end products of the range.

Grapes are thus rigorously hand-picked in early September, then classically vinified in autoclaves (Charmat method) for sixty days so as to maintain the wine's distinctive fragrance and freshness and lively, persistent perlage. On tasting, the bouquet confirms its extremely forthright and appealing aromas, where elderberry, peach and musk take center stage, with closing notes of citrus fruit and sage leaves. The palate, not least because of the wine's low alcohol content (around 7% by vol.), shows perfectly balanced freshness and sugar, crystal-clear focus and precision, without the slightest imperfection, coarseness or rough edge on the aromatic front.

Length is good and has an easy job of preparing the palate for the next sip, leaving it fresh and fragrant. Needless to say, this sparkling Moscato is the ideal match for traditional Italian desserts, particularly such festive specialties as panettone and colomba. Summery pairings are also possible, with fruit salads and semifreddos. Another alternative is enjoying the wine as an aperitif, even with daring matches like raw seafood.