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Asti: competing with the world’s finest fizz

Although wines from the Asti Spumante DOCG and Moscato d’Asti DOCG are known for their beautiful, easy-drinking style, they are more than capable of competing with the world’s finest fizz, db discovers.


Thanks to their carefully crafted sweetness and low alcohol content (Moscato d’Asti tends to be around 5% ABV, while Asti Spumante wines are a little higher at around 8%), these Piedmontese bubbles are among the most popular sparkling wines across the globe, uncorked for all manner of occasions. Containing only natural sugars, produced exclusively by the Moscato Bianco grape, Asti wines often have notes of lemon, bergamot and orange, and the wines reflect centuries of winemaking tradition in Piedmont.

According to the Consorzio Asti DOCG, Asti Spumante is “the feather in the cap of Italian oenology”; a shining example of a fruitful union between vineyard cultivation, agribusiness and industry. This winning collaboration results in a straw-yellow sparkling wine with tiny, persistent bubbles and a fresh aroma of floral and fruit aromatics. Open a bottle of Asti Spumante and you can expect to find notes of acacia, wisteria, orange and bergamot flowers, as well as hints of sage and lemon, depending on the location of the vineyards, the soil and the microclimate of each hillside.

Fizz from Moscato d’Asti, on the other hand, has an inimitable aroma, balance and natural sweetness, which together with its low alcohol level, makes it truly unique. With a rich and intense bouquet, Moscato d’Asti wines share similar notes of wisteria, orange and acacia flower flavours with their Spumante cousins, but with a touch of mountain honey and elderberry, and a delectable undertone of gentle spice.

While both Asti Spumante and Mosctao d’Asti wines convey the complex terroir from which they come, they are incredibly easy to drink and in doing so you will be transported to the heart of the region, its traditions and outlook, which are just as lively as its bubbles.

Asti wines bagged an extraordinary 57 medals in this year ’s Global Sparkling Masters competition. Below, Patricia Stefanowicz MW gives her tasting notes for four top medal-winning Asti wines.






Grape variety: 100% Moscato Bianco

ABV: 11.5%

Vintage: NV

Approx. retail price: £12.99

Medal: Master

Although the estate produces the expected wide range of Albanese wines, including Barolo, Gavi and Arneis, this Asti must be deemed among the best examples. From grapes grown on the calcareous marl soils, the wine shows a pale lemon colour and persistent bubbles. Off-dry, the yellow plum and golden apple fruit is framed by lively acidity. The waxy texture balances the well-defined structure and toasty autolysis. This complex, gastronomic wine will pair well with a light chicken salad with almonds, celery and sweet red pepper.





Grape variety: 100% Moscato Bianco

ABV: 12%

Vintage: NV

Approx. retail price: £13.99

Medal: Master

Terrenostre was founded in 1961 in Cossano Belbo (Cuneo) by a small group of 31 local winegrowers. The number of members has since grown to 200, spanning 450 hectares of vines, grown on the calcareous clay and sandy soils around Alba and Asti. This Moscato d’Asti is brilliant. Pale lemon in hue and frothy, the aromatics exhibit orange and lemon blossoms and rhododendrons as well as gentle yeast, which accent the delicate, but concentrated white orchard fruits. Medium dry, the wine has fresh acidity, perfect balance and a lingering, layered finish. The wine is perfection on its own, but will pair very well with ‘white cheeses’, such as Wensleydale, Cheshire or French Chaource.





Grape variety: 100% Moscato

ABV: 5.5%%

Vintage: 2022

Approx. retail price: £9.99

Medal: Gold

This sweet and moreish Moscato d’Asti is pale lemon-green with gentle yeast notes overlying spiced peaches. Quite sweet in style and light-bodied, the flavours are supported by crisp acidity and a silky textured mousse. A creamy custard-like finish suggests this is a perfect wineto pair with petits fours at tea-time.





• Grape variety: 100% Moscato Bianco

• Abv: 6.0%

• Vintage: NV

• Approx. retail price: £15.99

• Medal: Gold

Tre Secoli near Monferrato is a union of two small cooperatives, Cantina di Mombaruzzo and Cantina di Ricaldone. This pale lime-green Moscato d’Asti is fresh and bright with orchard fruits and touches of fresh bread yeast and tangerine. Off-dry and lightbodied, its peachy flavours are well defined by racy acidity, with a lime zest note adding real interest. A delightful, intriguing wine.





Grape variety: 100% Moscato Bianco

Abv: 5.0%

Vintage: 2022

Approx. retail price: £12.99

Medal: Gold

Located in the village of Mango near Alba in the Terrabianca hills of the Langhe is the wine farm of the Alpiste family, the fourth generation of winegrowers producing a range of local wines. This Moscato, from the border with Asti, is pale lemon-yellow in colour with a distinct cordon. An aromatic, very floral expression, the wine exhibits lemon blossom and orange zest accenting grapey muscat with gentle hints of fresh bread and almonds. Mediumsweet, the palate has brisk acidity and creamy mousse texture to balance the almost savoury flavours. Excellently balanced with a lifted finish, the wine is a perfect aperitif.

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