Crisp, cool autumn nights. The lovely palette of reds, oranges, and browns in the trees above you. It is Novello
season. A lovely young, light-bodied wine only available for purchase beginning late October and early November is a great addition to your rotation.
HOW NOVELLO IS DIFFERENT
Novello differs from other wines primarily due to carbonic maceration. Carbonic maceration is a unique wine-making technique where instead of the grapes being crushed and then allowed to ferment, they are fermented as whole grapes. The fermentation process occurs in a carbon dioxide heavy environment with temperatures of about 30 degrees Celsius. As the grapes sit whole in an environment devoid of oxygen they undergo a process of intra-cellular anaerobic metabolism action. This facilitates the conversion of sugars and malic acid into alcohol and also creates a sizeable amount of glycerol. This technique puts the grape's skin in a weak, fragile state where they naturally fall apart. The wine is then allowed to sit and macerate for a few further days where the alcohol absorbs the color and aroma of the skins. From this point, the mixture is then pressed and vinified using traditional methods.
This unique process produces the Novello wine with it's shades of deep red and violet highlights. The medium-bodied wine has a taste that is one of freshness and fruity notes, often associated and enjoyed with roasted chestnuts and particularly mushrooms which truly brings out the flavors of the Novello. The intoxicatingly aromatic wine also goes lovingly with cold cuts, vegetable soups, pasta dishes and grilled meats.
With the unique process of carbonic maceration that creates this aromatic wine full of verve, it does mean that there is a caveat. As the name does literally mean "young wine", it more fittingly means "wine that is meant to be drunk young". The carbonic maceration process leaves the wine free of tannins, the main preservative in wine. This means it's sensory qualities will deteriorate at an exponential rate compared to other wines. While this makes the wine all the more special and appropriate for the final months of the year and slightly into January, it is unfortunate if one truly enjoys Novello. One would be best served by a dedicated wine cooler at a steady 20 degrees Celsius if preservation and stocking are a concern. The fluctuations in temperature and light of a conventional fridge would not be conducive to the storage of Novello and a wine rack is out of the question.
Novello is a novelty of the favorite time of the year for many people. The beautiful scenery and refreshing weather of the fall and the festivities and holiday revelry of the winter months into the new year are well accompanied by a plentiful stock of Novello. Don't wait until next year to try this unique wine. Try a bottle soon, you won't regret it!