Ballabio, Vino Spumante di Qualità (Oltrepo Pavese, Lombardy, Italy) “Farfalla” Noir Collection, Zero Dosage NV

($22):  Consumers tend to forget that Italy makes a host of sparkling wines in addition to Prosecco.  And though I have nothing against Prosecco, many of Italy’s other bubblies, such as this one, provide a lot more interest.  This one is positively riveting.  It’s made using Pinot Noir exclusively, and in the Metodo Classico or classic Champagne method involving a secondary fermentation in the bottle.  Despite zero dosage and no malolactic fermentation, techniques that might result in austerity, this bubbly is full of flavor and persistence.  Firm, without being hard, its laser-like focus grabs your attention and holds it.  It’s racy and elegant simultaneously and an unbelievable value.
94 Michael Apstein Oct 8, 2019