Swan Song: Not All Moscato Are Equal

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

The sound of a bottle cap being popped off is a crisp noise that effervesces around you and encapsulates a kind of endless memory- taking you back to the first cream soda handed to you by a parent, or one bought in a Cracker Barrel as a break on a long road trip. The straw yellow bubbles below that fizz up to the edge of the bottleneck bring with them the yellow sunlight of a bright spring afternoon, hazy, but clean, light, but dense, full of fun and potential. As the first sip is taken the layers and complexity are discovered, and as the glass turns sideways again the little bubbles pop in the glow, highlighting the gleam shining through the prism of the bottle. Wait- are we talking about soda? Beer? Nope. We’re talking about one of the most elusive and well-crafted wines that we will never have again: the Costadilà Bianco Frizzante Moz. Sound like a mouthful? Well, you aren’t wrong. After receiving two of the three cases that entered the state (one might say that is the definition of exclusive) we here at District were elated- lucky to even get a little taste of this gorgeous sparkling muscato. The Costadilà Bianco Moz is a multifaceted and yet very succinct wine made with love and intention in the Italian Northeast. Macerated for 10 days this is a sparkling Pet-Nat Orange wine- a mouthful? Certainly is, but in more ways than one. Grown on ashy and limestone rich volcanic soil about an hour north of Venice in Treviso, this muscato shines much brighter than others muscats. The bottle itself even mirrors the volcanic nature that brought about the wine. The name “Costadlià” translates to “the hillside over there”, like a place or thing you have to work for, or is just out of your reach, but here at District we’ve nicknamed the Costadilà something else- coined by co-owners Lauri Nichols this wine is our “Rare Beast”. Outside of the limited amount both made and sold, the creator and cultivator of this incredible drink, Ernesto Cattel, has passed. Of course leaving behind a wonderful legacy of natural and biodynamic wines, but also leaving behind this special creation, one that won’t grace the world a second time. It is something you can taste, a lingering, fleeting feeling, a moment you want to hold onto- just like the light sunshine of spring sneaking back behind the shade of an overarching tree. The flavors and feeling of this wine are a spontaneous experience, the same as the method of fermentation that birthed it, the Pet-Nat style. An amalgam of so many types of wine, the Costadilà Moz is an anomaly, a freak incident, and a beautiful one at that. Ernesto Cattel however, I think he would call this wine a labor of love, for the Costadilà project's goal is to valorize and rejuvenate Treviso's rich agricultural traditions by reintroducing natural farming to the region. The scope goes well beyond wine, with a strong emphasis on polyculture: a farm where vines, fruits, vegetables, cereals and livestock coexist on the same plots of land.

The wine itself is a daydream, beginning with an impenetrable mousse, then falling into a bready, hazy NEIPAish-hoppy, and lemony taste, and without a second thought sneaking a bit into a nicely spiced apple cider, but as the lees move and the glass become clouded by them- what comes to mind is a subtle yeasty peach soda, tamely sweet, but firm, hazy, but clean as a cloudless day on the palate. With a long finish and a lingering off-dry experience this wine can’t be forgotten- so come down to District and have some before it flies off of our shelves. Get a little sun before it goes behind the shade. You can find the Costadilà Bianco Moz on our by the bottle list along with their 330slm at District Wine Bar in the River Arts District.

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