Production and characteristics
Grapes are hand-picked and arranged in small perforated containers, which will be transported to the pressing and vinification centres of the individual Spumante Producers.
Transportation in small containers allows the transfer of grapes, perfectly healthy and uncrushed, to the first phase of the vinification process, pressing.
It is a very delicate phase, performed by means of a special pneumatic press: this procedure results in the separation of different phases of the must, that will continue separately the rest of their vinification process.
This separation of musts obtained from the various pressings is extremely important as it allows to greatly enhance, year after year, the quality of the final product. Alcoholic fermentation is carried out in steel, temperature controlled vats of various dimensions, through selected yeasts able to regularly carry out the fermentation process: this phase is carefully monitored, due to the significant ripercussions that its correct or incorrect execution may have on the organoleptic properties of the final product.
Between the end of winter and the start of spring, the batches Alta Langa basic wine are carefully selected, then blended together to form the so-called “cuvée” or batch; once the “cuvée”is ready, it is followed by tirage or bottling, by adding a concentrated sugar solution. Selected yeasts and small doses of fining are also added. When the batch is perfectly homogeneous, the wine is bottled and the bottles are closed with crown caps. The bottles are transported to underground cellars and stored horizontally in stacks.
In this type of environment, where the temperature stays constant at around 12-15°C, the wine ferments slowly and the froth subsequently forms: thanks to the yeasts, the sugar turns to alcohol and carbon dioxide.
REMUAGE AND DEGORGEMENT
After ageing for a minimum of 30 months, the sediments must be eliminated from the bottle in order to obtain a limpid wine and this is done through “remuage” and “degorgement”.
The bottles previously stacked are arranged on special wooden racks (pupitres) with holes that allow the bottles to be positioned at different inclinations. From the original horizontal position, the bottles are manually tilted 1/8-1/4 turn every day, gradually increasing their inclination until an almost vertical position. The sediments therefore move along the walls of the bottle and then deposite onto the crown cap.
Remuage lasts 1 to 2 months. After, the bottles are removed from the pupitres and kept upside down until the moment of degorgement, which was once a very delicate operation.Today it is performed through the simplified method “à la glace”. The neck of the bottle is immersed by 3-4 centimetres in a cooling solution at 25-30° below zero. Part of the wine freezes and forms a sort of “frozen cork” that captures the sediments to be eliminated.
At this point the bottle is put back into an upright position without the risk of the sediments falling back into the wine. Manually or through the help of automatic machines the crown cap is removed and the internal pressure pushes out the frozen cork containing the sediments.
The bottles are then closed with a natural cork and packaged. The product is therefore ready for the market and for consumption.
Alta Langa DOCG WHITE once poured in the glass displays a straw yellow colour with green reflections. The pérlage is very fine and highly persistent. The scents of vanilla, honey, dried toasted fruit, bread crust are complex and intense. The mouth is balanced, savoury, full and enveloping with light notes of almond.
L’Alta Langa ROSE’ boasts a captivating powder pink colour, a fine and persistent perlage with spicy notes of golden apple and dog rose. Balanced and intense mouth with citrus fruits notes.
The minimum alcohol content is set at 11.5% vol., the minimum total acidity is 5‰ expressed in tartaric acid and the minimum dry net extract is 14.0 grams/litre.
The ideal serving glass is a champaigne flûte or a tapered wine glass, in any case made of crystal. This will enhance Alta Langa properties: first of all the white and persistent froth, the very fine grain perlage, intense and persistent, the nice tone of colour, the ample, rich and elegant bouquet and finally the full, persistent palate.