If you want something done right, you got to do it yourself. This motto seems a fitting mantra for ex-wine critic turned winemaker Bisso Atanasso, who shifted from the rarified journalistic air he shared with Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson to open La Bioca in 2011. It’s turned out to be an indisputable career change. In just a few short years, La Bioca has ascended to the upper echelon in the world of Italian wines, thanks to Bisso’s unyielding passion to make magic from Moscato, Nebbiolo, and other noteworthy Italian varietals, whether they’re sourced from estate vineyards or from trusted winegrowing partners. For this uncommonly exquisite Moscato, Bisso turns to grapes culled from the legendary Moscato d’Asti region, whose fresh, gentle sparkling wines effortlessly bring an air of palate-pleasing sophistication to a category typically defined by care-free fun.
It’s said that Moscato d’Asti has been producing wines since the days of the ancient Romans. These days, the name of the appellation says it all. Located in the hills that overlook the Italian town of Asti, this region’s reputation is anchored by the creation of semi-sweet, low-alcohol wine that’s equipped with a light sparkle. These wines are made with a quick, gentle pressing technique dubbed the “Asti method,” a nickname that helps to entrench the region’s reputation for making fun, indulgent wines that are destined to keep the party going.
Bisso Atanasso’s path to winemaking was one forged in unorthodoxy. A former wine critic or par with the likes of Robert Parker,, Bisso’s passion for fine wine and single-minded toughness led his hands to drop the pad and paper and reach for Italy’s vines. Yet Bisso’s journalistic instincts are still in play. Whether he’s sourcing grapes from Bioca’s eight hectares of vineyards or gathering top fruit from trusted winegrowing partners, Bisso’s focus is to seek out and produce the best viticultural story he can find.
The astute viticultural knowledge Bisso Atanasso routinely showcased during his wine critic days continues to translate extremely well in the annals of winemaking. His deep appreciation of traditional Italian production is on full display here, as he unwaveringly guides Moscato grapes sourced from the highly esteemed Moscato d’Asti region through the classic Asti style of production. His skill produces a special limited-production selection that runs counter to the typical Moscatos that drip with sticky sweetness. This is a refined gem whose freshness and complexity delivers the casual fun of a sparkling wine with enough nuance to engage even the snobbiest oenophile. Fresh ripe cantaloupe, nectarine, and floral notes leap from the richly hued selection’s light bubbles. These flavors make a refreshing transitional splash onto the palate, rounded with a subtle sweetness to make things intriguing. This is a sparkler that comfortably hangs at the intersection of fun and sophistication, making it an essential label for any serious wine collection.
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