I recently returned from the stunning wine region of Franciacorta,the premier sparkling wine of Italy, and had a chance to talk about a few of the bubbles on The Broadcast. See the segment below with, tasting notes for a little bit more about why this place is so special, or click over to my post on D Magazine/SideDish for a detailed overview of this special region…but most importantly, pick up a bottle now!
The Franciacorta wine region was tarted in the 1960’s by a group of Milan business men who had weekend and summer homes in the region near Lake Iseo, like the owners of Escada, Prada, and more.
In 1961 they came together to create a wine region that would rival the best sparkling wine houses in the world, by using traditional method wine making styles and holding themselves to the highest of standards…even higher than those used today in Champagne.
Their goal is to be known for their lush, layered and very interesting sparkling Franciacorta wines of superb quality and flavor. They have achieved a DOCG status in Italy, the highest wine designation in the country. Among other accomplishments, it is the official wine of Milan fashion week.
This wine sings of the region, happily in a much warmer area of the world than Champagne, the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based wines are delicious enough to sip in their pre-bubbly state…a trait typical, highly acidic wines of Champagnes don’t share, making the need to add additional sugar at the end of the production process unnecessary, a trait that will be key to really seeing Franciacorta explode in coming years.
Guiddo Berlucchi is considered to be one of the founders of the region, as one of the first producers starting in 1961. The Berlucci 61 Brut pays homage to this with a very fresh, slightly toasty, brioche and hazelnut filled sparkler layerd with fresh lemon and herbal notes. Berlucchi 61 Brut – $30 at Goody-Goody and Total Wine and More
Montensia Brut – $35 at Dallas Fine Wine and Jimmy’s – lemon-lime, white flowers and fresh herbs fill the palate of this Chardonnay based wine with a touch of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir from the Antinori family.
Fratelli Berlucchi Saten – $45 available at Jimmy’s – 100% Chardonnay with a lighter style, softer, velvety palate. Saten is satin, a sparkler completely representing the lighter side of Franciacorta.
A few additional wines I had on show that unfortunately aren’t available in Dallas…yet!
Castello di Gussago Pas Dose – zero dosage, or additional sugar added to the wine after disgorgement, or the yeasts have been removed and the cork is placed in the bottle for a very fresh, very crisp and very delicious wine.
Il Mosnel Pas Dose Rose – similar to the Gussago from Pinot Noir without the addition of any sugar at the end for a cherry and strawberry, fruit filled, fresh sparkler.