Prosecco may often come across like an entry-level experience, but if you dive a bit deeper you’ll see that this essential sparkler comes in a variety of different styles, each representing a different level of sweetness, much like Champagne.
As with Champagne, the categories are confusing and unintuitive. From dryest to sweetest, the categories go:
Brut: 0–12 grams per liter of residual sugar
Extra Dry: 12–17 grams per liter of residual sugar
Dry: 17–32 grams per liter of residual sugar
We tasted six Proseccos in current release, representing the full range of styles. All six of these wines are from the Conegliano Valdobbiadene region, widely considered one of the best areas for growing the glera grapes used to make the wine. Thoughts follow.
2020 Bellenda San Fermo Prosecco Brut DOCG – They aren’t lying about this being a brut: This wine is extremely dry and herbal, almost bitter as it keeps its notes of green apple at arm’s length. Instead, a heavy element of rosemary, thyme, and sage weigh things down, keeping the finish short and cryptic. B- / $22
2020 Andreola Col del Forno Prosecco Brut DOCG – A very supple Prosecco, bold with apple and pear notes but balanced by a light creaminess that gives the experience some weight. A fun, herbal character is lively on the nose, offering notes of rosemary along with an earthier type of honey element that lingers throughout — particularly as the wine warms up a bit. Lemony on the finish. A- / $25
NV Cantine Vedova Casa Farive Prosecco Extra Dry DOCG – Crisp and refreshing, drier than expected. Notes of lemon curd dominate, with a gentle grassiness emerging over time. It’s quite cleansing and refreshing, with a finish that evokes pineapple as it warms up a bit. Simple and straightforward, but it’s impossible to beat the value on this one. A- / $12
2020 La Farra Prosecco Extra Dry DOCG – Buttery and heavy on the apples, this comes across with more of a California vibe, immersive with fruit and creamy on the palate, lightly spiced with gentle notes of cinnamon and lemon peel. Lovely but uncomplicated, this is a perfectly poised summer sparkler with just the right amount of sweetness in the mix. A- / $18
NV Brancher Prosecco Extra Dry DOCG – A fruitier offering, with a bolder, sweeter baked apple note, studded with cinnamon. With its almost buttery body, driven by its fairly heavy effervescence, the lightly bittersweet finish comes as a bit of a surprise. B / $19
NV Riva Dei Frati Prosecco Dry DOCG – Well-balanced, with notes of figs and apples in equal proportion, perhaps leaning more toward the figs if you give the wine some time in glass. Well-balanced between sweet and saline, the fizz level is spot-on, concluding with layer of baking spice that evokes notes of apple crumble. Great value for the category. A- / $15