Contratto
Sparkling Wines

CONTRATTO Sparkling Wines

Piedmont

“One of my biggest problems is that I love Champagne, I love bubbles, I always have. So, when the opportunity presented itself in 2007 to work with Contratto, I jumped at it. It’s always been my dream to make great Champagne method wines in Piedmont. In 2011, we officially bought Contratto in Canelli.” says Giorgio Rivetti, owner of Contratto.

“Contratto was a big risk but has also been one of the highlights of my career. In just a few short years it has given me enormous satisfaction. I obviously wanted to make the best sparkling wines but didn’t realize the full potential and elegance that we’re tasting now in the 2013 and 2014 vintagesGiorgio Rivetti explains.

Giuseppe Contratto founded Contratto in 1867. This beautiful Estate was in the family’s hands for 126 years. In 1993, Carlo Bocchino purchased the property. The historical cellars underwent substantial renovations. In 2011, Giorgio Rivetti and the team of La Spinetta were able to take ownership of this understated jewel with the goal of reviving Contratto to its former glory. The winery has a long, distinguished history. Contratto is the oldest producer of sparkling wine in Italy. In fact, the 1919 Contratto Extra Brut was the first vintage “Metodo Classico” sparkling wine ever made in the country!

 At the turn of the 20th century, Contratto’s wines were one of the premier sources of sparkling wine in Royal houses around the world. Contratto was the personal supplier to the Vatican, as well as the Italian royal family. The historical Estate has breathtaking cellars carved into the tuff limestone hillside that protects the small town of Canelli. These cathedral cellars are among the finest of their kind, excavated at a depth of 32 meters. The cellars maintain a constant annual temperature of 13°C and sufficient natural humidity. This ideal environment for bottle fermentation and maturation helps Contratto to craft wines of purity and complexity. Over the course of its 150 years history of winemaking, Contratto has produced Moscato, Barolo, Spumante Metodo Classico, Vermouths, Tonics, Bitters, Gin, Whiskey and more!

Today, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Contratto produces only traditional method sparkling wine and selected spirits under the watchful eye of Giorgio Rivetti, and his talented son, Andrea. While La Spinetta has owned the Estate since Spring 2011, Giorgio and Andrea have been secretly making the Metodo Classico wines since 2007 with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from Oltrepo Pavese. Thus, the inaugural releases of Contratto Metodo Classico were all the products of this talented father-son team.

In 2014, the Estate invested in land and the creation of new vineyards in Alta Langa, near the town of Bossolasco. Giorgio Rivetti acquired 45 acres of southern exposure hillside in order to plant Pinot Noir at 720 m above sea level. With the existing 33 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards around Canelli and Loazzolo and the new Pinot Noir plantings, Contratto from 2014 vintage onwards, produces sparkling wines from 100% Estate grown fruit only and the appellation of the wines is ALTA LANGA DOCG. 

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Wines

Millesimato Extra Brut Pas Dosé

The Millesimato has the bright intensity and definition of the highest caliber sparkling wine.  A Pinot Noir (~80%) and Chardonnay (~20%) blend, this wine is hand-riddled in the cellar where it ages nearly 5 years before release.  In the mouth, it is creamy and rich with fine, soft beading.  Abundant honey, apricot and sweet almond meld with notes of lemon mousse and honeydew, resulting in an undeniably delicious and appealing wine.

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For England Rosé Pas Dosé DOCG

This is a gorgeous pale pink rosato, made from the estate’s oldest vineyards of Pinot Noir.  Bright fruit and attractive, fresh perfumes of tangerine peel, orange, mint and cranberry give the wine a refreshing vitality and energy.  In the mouth, the For England is a precise and sculpted sparkling rosè whose vibrant acidity lends sharp, linear edges and an undeniable appeal.

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Blanc de Blancs Pas Dosé

A classic Piedmont sparkler crafted from 100% Chardonnay grown on hillside vineyards located 650 meters (2,133 feet) above sea level.  The wine opens up beautifully in the glass to reveal exceptional power, depth and intensity with characteristic varietal notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white peach.  Floral notes and slate are enhanced by a crystalline purity and texture, enchanting in the mouth with an enveloping creaminess and fine and persistent bubbles.  An ideal accompaniment to seafood.   

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For England Blanc de Noir Pas Dosé

This Metodo Classico Blanc de Noir presents an especially focused expression of Pinot Noir, from old vines grown 740 meters (2,428 feet) above sea level. The For England entices with lots of creamy beading and a golden hue veering toward a slightly pinkish tint. Loads of citrus (tangerine, pink grapefruit), mint and crushed white flowers open to reveal small red berries and a hint of the earthiness typical of Pinot Noir. The dry finish and alluring acidity make this wine an ideal accompaniment to food.

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Riserva Special Cuveè Pas Dosé

This predominantly Pinot Noir (plus 5% old vine Chardonnay from La Spinetta’s Lidia vineyard) Riserva rests for seven long years on the lees, revealing a big, pure sparkling wine of extraordinary elegance, intensity and purity. The Special Cuvèe is rich and full-bodied with a perfect level of ripeness that tastes both sweet and salty at the same time. Enjoyable as an aperitif, this opulent Metodo Classico sparkling wine is also an excellent companion to a meal, particularly seafood.

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Cuveè Novecento Pas Dosé

A blend of Pinot Noir (70%) and Chardonnay (30%), the Cuveè Novecento is a dazzling wine of extraordinary precision. Chalk, white flowers, mint, slate and lemon peel race out of the glass. This sparkling wine spends 7 years aging on its lees, yet remains remarkably fresh with hints of graphite-infused minerality laced throughout a translucent, magnificently pure finish.

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