2012 Contratto Sparkling Rosé “For England”
Yes, here we go again – selling a sparkling wine under the moniker of Champagne. But before you turn Waterford in for bait-and-switch advertising, consider this:
Contratto, founded in 1867, is Italy’s oldest Metodo Classico sparkling wine house – meaning it’s older than most Champagne houses and has been doing Methode Champenoise longer.
This bottle, “FOR ENGLAND” is so named because at that time most French Champagne houses were producing sweet sparkling wine. The English palate demanded drier – i.e., our present-day taste – from Champagne. Contratto produced one of the highest-quality of these drier sparkling wines.
By 1920 Contratto became one of the top-selling sparklers across all of England and her colonies. And that is no small feat: England was and remains the largest Champagne-consuming country on Earth! In fact, you probably recognize Contratto’s Art Deco label because of how successfully they’ve penetrated the worldwide market.
This is a vintage sparkling wine – from 2012 and 100% Pinot Noir. It spent six years on the lees. Compare that to Dom Perignon’s average of seven years on the lees, and I think it’s easy to make a QPR argument for any holiday party.
Finally, the wine itself is amazing:
“This is a pure expression of Pinot Nero from the estate’s oldest vines. The 2012 Metodo Classico Rosé Pas Dosé For England sees one hour of skin contact for the delicate, pale pink color that characterizes this important sparkling wine. The bouquet offers fresh tones of wild berry, forest floor and menthol notes, but the biggest segment of aromas is linked to yeast-driven tones of freshly baked baguette and morning croissant. This is a full-bodied rosé sparkler that is drinking delightfully at this very moment.” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
In short, this is fabulous sparkling wine, equal to any Champagne, at a profound deal. We don’t have a lot. Don’t miss this treasure!