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Why this Italian bubble is the wine world’s biggest secret

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Franciacorta, Italy’s sparkling wine region just outside of Milan, lies in the long shadow cast by two well-known but very different types of sparkling wine: Champagne and Prosecco. The first is produced exclusively in the Champagne region of France, which every wine lover knows and is the standard-bearer for fine sparkling wines around the world. Meanwhile, the second, like Franciacorta, hails from northern Italy and is now the wine of the planet. The most popular style of sparkling wine. Unfortunately, Italian sparkling tends to be lumped into one category and seen as something cheap and cheerful, but that’s not at all the case. I would like to tell you that Franciacorta deserves a little respect.

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Let’s start with the rules. Made using the same grapes and in the same style as Champagne, Franciacorta has even stricter aging regulations than French Champagne. For example, non-vintage Franciacorta must be aged for a minimum of 18 months, while NV Champagne must be aged in bottle for a minimum of 15 months, 12 of which are on the lees. Additionally, the non-vintage Rosé Franciacorta and the style known as Satin (more on that below) require him to age for 24 months. Rosé Champagne, on the other hand, does not require any additional aging time. Vintage Franciacorta must be aged for 30 months compared to 36 months for Champagne, but Franciacorta regulations require a higher quality level. Riservathis is always a vintage wine and must be aged for 60 months.

Now let’s talk about grapes. Unlike the native Prosecco (made with the indigenous grape Glera) and Moscato d’Asti, Italy’s famous sparkling wine, Franciacorta is produced using Chardonnay, Pinot Nero, and Pinot Bianco (the last two (one is the Italian name) for Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. These are his three of his six grapes allowed in Champagne, and Franciacorta’s brilliance comes from grapes known in the wine world. method champenoise or traditional methodas Italians call it method classico or traditional method.

FranciacortaFranciacorta

Franciacorta

Same grapes, same style, but from different regions of different countries. So why don’t storms hit our coasts? Almost 90% of Franciacorta is sold within Italy, and only a small portion of the remainder that is exported around the world enters the United States. Given its rarity, it should sell for a higher price, but some high-end versions retail for between $50 and $100. We’re not here to tell you that Franciacorta is a cheap alternative to Champagne, but rather that it’s the wine world’s best-kept secret.

Ca del Bosco, one of the brands with a strong presence in the U.S. market, produces two of its finest products: Ca del Bosco Franciacorta Riserva Annamaria Clementi and Ca del Bosco Franciacorta Vintage Collection Satin, with price points are $100 and $75. Each. Named after proprietor and winemaker Maurizio Zanella’s mother, the 2014 Riserva Annamaria Clementi is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Blanc from the winery’s estate vineyards, and is aged on the lees. The wine is aged for 8 years on top, with no additional dosage applied during disgorgement. “Satin is a type of Franciacorta that is obtained only from white grapes. blanc de blanc territorial,” says Zanella. Rob report. “A lower pressure atmosphere than other Franciacortas creates soft, silky bubbles. Certainly the most delicate and elegant Franciacorta.” The current vintage, 2018, is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, with small oak barrels. After the primary fermentation, the wine is aged on the lees for 4 years.

Ricci Curbastro Franciacorta Dosaggio Zero Millesimato Gualberto is a blend of approximately 70 percent Pinot Noir and 30 percent Chardonnay, with no additional sugar added during disgorge.Dosaggio Zero” By that name. Gualberto Ricci Curbastro, the winery’s co-CEO, said: “The dryness is complemented by a full body and elegant acidity, the result of long aging on the lees.” He explains. He points out that the wine, which has a suggested price of $93, is made with up to 15% Franciacorta wine that has been aged on the lees in magnum bottles for eight to 10 years. “This process was developed on our estate 20 years ago and is now recognized as a licensed practice for this appellation,” he says. “Dosaggio Zero He Gualberto has also been aged for over nine years to achieve all the elegance and freshness of his Franciacorta Riserva.”

Cellars in FranciacortaCellars in Franciacorta

Cellars in Franciacorta

Several other Franciacortas have also recently caught our attention, with the Barone Pizzini 2011 Franciacorta Riserva Bagnador on sale for $90 and the Bellavista Franciacorta Brut Millesimato Teatro alla Scala on sale for $53 . Barone Pizzini 2011, made with Chardonnay, was aged 70% in barrel and 30% in steel tanks, then 70 months in bottle on the lees. “Long-term aging on the lees enhances complexity, aroma and taste,” says CEO Silvano Brescianini. “The 2011 harvest was one of the best in recent years, and this vintage of Riserva has the potential to be very long-lived.”

Beautiful apple, pear and brioche flavors mingle with a rich mouthfeel and bold acidity to drink gorgeously now, but the wine could gain even more complexity with up to eight more years in the cellar. be. Bellavista’s La Scala, named after his famous opera house founded in 1778 in central Milan, offers great performances. perlage, Rich, creamy texture with flavors of citrus, green apple, orange blossom, and almond slices. Bellavista winemaker Francesca Moretti explains that the new season opens every year with a premiere at La Scala on December 7, the feast day of Milan’s patron saint, Sant’Ambrogio. she continues proudly. “Bella Vista has had the honor of participating in this ceremony since 2004, when the Opera House reopened after a long restoration process.”

Like all sparkling wines, Franciacorta is not only meant for special occasions. Berlucchi CEO and winemaker Arturo Gigliani, who has worked on bottlings such as the Berlucchi 2016 Guido His Franciacortanature, Millesimato ’61 (suggested price $73), likes the flexibility of the pairing possibilities. Masu. This is not a vintage wine from 1961, but is named in honor of the first vintage released by founder Guido Berlucchi.Aged using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir No way, It has a rare combination of freshness and depth, described by Giliani as “a crisp, clean profile with bright acidity.” With that in mind, he suggests pairing it with raw seafood such as oysters, shrimp, and sushi, explaining that “the acidity of the wine brings out the freshness of the seafood.” On the other hand, he also likes to pour risotto over richer dishes with a richer texture, saying, “A creamy Parmesan risotto pairs well with the texture and flavor profile of a wine. The richness of a risotto and sparkling wine. The acidity is balanced, creating a harmonious combination.” With such possibilities for lunch or dinner, it’s time to reveal Franciacorta’s secrets.


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