For the New Year, New Wine: Discover Sandro de Bruno Durello DOC Dynamic Durella Sparkling Wine

Durello DOC’s Dynamic Durella Sparkling Wine from Sandro De Bruno

Looking for an unusual traditional method sparkling wine that offers complexity, minerality, elegance, and age worthiness? How about one that is so unusual most people have never heard of the grape or the place where it’s grown? Located in the Veneto region of Italy in the hilly biodiverse pre-Alps next to a national park and museum featuring marine fossils found nearby, volcanic high-elevation Lessini Durello DOC is tiny: only 358 acres produce less than 115k cases, mostly of the obscure tough thick skinned white grape variety Durella. With its high acid levels, Durella does well as a sparkling wine made in the traditional method. Because of this natural acidity, instead of picking early, growers harvest fully mature Durella grapes where yeast can adhere to to the thick skins which also provide tannins on the palate as well. Volcanic soils full of iron and magnesium from basalt and tuff bring minerality. 
Durella means “hard” or “tough” or “little hard one” in Italian; the name might refer to the durability of the skins, the high acid in the wines, or the challenges the vines give to growers. Bonus: the thick skin provides protection from disease.

According to a 12/21 article in Wine Enthusiast, a move is afoot to create two separate denominations, Lessini Durello for Charmat (tank) method wines which is commonly used for Prosecco creating fruitier wines and for metodo classico or traditional sparkling wines, Monti Lessini. Currently both styles have the same name. 

Lessini Durello DOC vines grow at elevation on the side of the extinct volcano Monti Lessini offering diurnal range with cold nights and warm days, and it’s even colder in Sandro de Bruno’s vineyards at 1200′. Of the 115k cases in the DOC, Sandro de Bruno sustainably produces 10k of them: Durella and Soave (made from the garganega grape) with Sandro Tasoniero aging his sparkling for 36 and 60 months before releasing them.

“If you go and visit him in his winery,” says importer Sheila Donohue, “his wine cellar is filled with these bottles that are fermenting.”  In the cellar, continued Sheila, thick skinned grapes for a sparkling wine are challenging. The lower temperatures require more effort to get aromas and flavors. Read more about Sandro de Bruno on the VeroVino website.


Durello DOC’s Dynamic Durella Sparkling Wine from Sandro De Bruno


  • Sandro de Bruno “36” Dossaggio Zero Metodo Classico, Lessini Durello DOC

  • Sandro de Bruno “60” Extra Brut, Lessini Durello DOC

Sandro de Bruno Lessini Durella DOC


Sandro de Bruno “36” Dossaggio Zero Metodo Classico, Lessini Durella DOC

Sandro de Bruno “36” Dossaggio Zero Metodo Classico, Lessini Durello DOC

Harvest: 2016; Disgorgement 2018; Tirage 2021. 

ABV: 12.5%
SRP: $35
Grapes: 85% Durella and 15% Pinot Blanc
Importer: VeroVino
sample for my review consideration; no payment for my opinion

Harvested in 2016, the resulting wine has only 2 grams of sugar dosage, and spent 36 months on the lees resulting in a wine with so much surprising character. 

Appearance:  Pale golden, daffodil, very pretty

Aroma: Cinnamon, caraway, fennel, cardomom, herbs and spice, asian pear, chamomile tea, very intriguing, very nice, complex, worthy of contemplation. Swirl the glass and the aroma is intensified and so very interesting. 

Palate: Fennel and anise, herbal, asian pear, very clean, lovely foaminess, just so herbal and lovely, makes us wonder what this wine would be as a still wine.

Pairing: We found this wine very inspiring — it really sparked our imaginations thinking about pairings we’d love to try with this wine. With all these herbal elements and wonderful fresh complex flavors, this would be a wonderful wine for a Thanksgiving or special occasion where you’re having turkey with all of the trimmings. Sue thought it would be perfect for a parchment wrapped white fish with fennel and lemon over a bed of basmati rice. However, we did not appreciate it with the mushroom brie; the blue cheese is much with this wine which also worked really well with the artichoke ravioli and the rich creaminess of the meal. The impossible meat ravioli was a very nice surprise with the wine. A browned butter sage sauce would have done just as nicely as the rich creamy Alfredo loaded with parmesan.

Sandro de Bruno “60” Extra Brut, Lessini Durella DOC

Sandro de Bruno “60” Extra Brut, Lessini Durello DOC

Harvest: 2015; Disgorgement: 2016; Tirage: 2021 
: 12.5%
SRP: $42
Grapes: 90% Durella and 10% Pinot Blanc
Importer: VeroVino
sample for my review consideration; no payment for my opinion

Appearance:  Very delicate pelage, daffodil, golden, so pretty in the glass

Aroma: Fennel pollen, bee pollen, baked sweet dough, hazelnut, sweet almond

Palate: Lemon, lemon lime, tart lemon, round, creamy mouthfeel 

Pairing: The round mouthfeel in the wine would handle a rich creamy dish. So great with the rich creamy mushroom brie, as well as the rich creamy blue with the pasito grapes over the top. Lovely with the rich savory salami.  We loved so much the blue and this wine that we thought it would be a very sexy course to pour some of this wine over the blue with pasito grapes and a taste of crusty bread. The rich creamy ravioli in alfredo highlights the wine nicely as well. 

Sandro de Bruno Lessini Durella DOC with biscotti for dessert







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