Prosecco is Italy’s most famous sparkling wine. Produced in the northeast regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, it is made primarily from the Glera grape and usually undergoes its second fermentation—the majority of sparkling wines are fermented twice—in a tank. Bottle-fermented, or traditional method, Prosecco can also be found with bottlings labeled Col Fondo.
But Prosecco isn’t the only Italian sparkling wine. You can find metodo classico wines from the northern regions of Piedmont, Trento and Lombardy. The latter is home to Franciacorta, where sparkling wines are made predominately from Chardonnay and Pinot Nero.
Further south, you’ll find food-friendly Lambrusco, the perfect companion for holiday meals. And for those who are looking for something beyond cooler-climate sparkling wines, keep an eye out for Campania’s options made from Greco and Aglianico.
Here are our top bottles of Italian sparkling wine, including Prosecco, tasted this year.
2018’s Top Proseccos
Ca’ dei Zago 2015 Dosaggio Zero Metodo Classico (Prosecco di Valdobbiadene); $25, 93 points. This elegant, savory sparkler opens with inviting aromas of dried wildflower, mature orchard fruit and a yeasty whiff of bread dough. On the creamy palate, a soft mousse accompanies yellow apple, white peach and citrus zest alongside accents of dried herb and a hint of ginger. Ethica Wines. Editors’ Choice. –Kerin O’Keefe
Le Colture NV Dry (Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze); $30, 91 points. This delicious sparkler opens with heady scents of white spring flower, green apple and vanilla that follow through the creamy palate along with white almond. Fresh acidity brightens the rich flavors while a silky mousse lends elegance and an irresistibly smooth texture. T. Edward Wines. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Villa Sandi 2017 Vigna La Rivetta Brut (Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze); $42, 90 points. Honeysuckle, ripe green apple and banana aromas follow over to the creamy palate along with a note of pastry cream. A silky mousse provides an irresistibly soft texture. Folio Fine Wine Partners. –K.O.
Bisol 2017 Dry (Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze); $40, 90 points. Delicate scents of banana, honeysuckle and tropical fruit lead the nose on this foaming wine. The off-dry palate offers ripe white peach, pineapple and a dollop of vanilla pastry cream alongside a silky mousse. Wilson Daniels Ltd. –K.O.
Andreola 2017 Dry (Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze); $26, 90 points. Rose, white peach and green apple aromas float over to the bright, creamy palate along with a note of candied lemon zest. A silky mousse lends finesse while fresh acidity lifts the rich flavors. Prestige Beverage Group. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Other Top Italian Sparkling Wines
Moser 2012 Brut Nature Chardonnay (Trento); $45, 96 points. This drop-dead gorgeous sparkler is all about finesse and fragrance. It opens with enticing scents of Alpine wildflower, pear, flint and a whiff of pastry. The savory, elegant palate has an airy, weightless character, doling out ripe apple, creamy white peach, minerals and a dollop of vanilla before the dry, juicy finish. A silky perlage gives it a polished, irresistible texture. DiVino International. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Paltrinieri 2017 L’Eclisse (Lambrusco di Sorbara); $24, 94 points. Made by the firm that helped put quality Lambrusco on the map, this delicious, stunning wine opens with enticing scents of wild berry, rose petal and citrus. The aromas carry over to the elegant, foaming palate along with juicy strawberry, creamy nectarine, grapefruit and a sprinkling of white pepper. A silky mousse gives it an irresistible texture, while fresh acidity keeps it balanced. Lyra Wine. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Ferrari 2007 Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore (Trento); $130, 94 points. Aromas of toast, bread crust and mature exotic fruit waft out of the glass. On the creamy palate, tangy acidity lifts ripe Golden Delicious apple, candied citrus zest, ginger and hazelnut, while a silky perlage lends finesse. It finishes on a honeyed mineral note. Taub Family Selections. –K.O.
Marchisio Tenuta Ca’ du Russ 2007 Faiv Brut Rosé Metodo Tradizionale (Roero Superiore); $27, 93 points. Enticing scents of rose, woodland berry, wild herb and pastry dough shape the nose on this lively sparkler. The elegant palate shows polished maturity but is still fresh, delivering sour cherry, pomegranate, tangerine and a dollop of ginger alongside bright acidity and a silky mousse. An almond note lingers on the close. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Travaglino 2010 Riserva del Fondatore Vincenzo Comi Sparkling (Oltrepò Pavese); $33, 92 points. Pressed wildflower, ripe white stone fruit and whiffs of baked bread take shape in the glass. The creamy, ethereal palate offers ripe Rennet apple, white cherry, orange rind and a hint of toasted hazelnut alongside bright acidity and a silky mousse. A ginger note lingers on the finish. Editors’ Choice. –K.O.
Dubl NV Brut Rosé Metodo Classico Aglianico (Vino Spumante); $50, 91 points. You’ll find inviting scents of bread crust, orchard fruit and Mediterranean brush in this southern Italian sparkler. The creamy palate doles out white cherry, strawberry, candied citrus zest and nectarine alongside a foaming mousse and bright acidity. Domaine Select Wine & Spirits. –K.O.