Taste For Pleasure, The Wines of Franciacorta!

At the Hong Kong Wine Fair earlier in November, we presented a series of 15 tastings on the beautiful wines of #Italy.

At about 1 hour drive west of Milan lies the region of Franciacorta where fantastic sparkling wines are made in the traditional method.

As Maurizio Zanella from Ca’ del Bosco told me during a recent trip in Tokyo, “never compare our region with that of Champagne because they are 2 different things”.

First, he say, “Franciacorta is 250 years younger” and second, he continues “Franciacorta is truly unique to Italy”. Indeed, although the region has been making wine since the 16th century, it is only since 1995 that it has obtained the peak of Italian quality classification, that of the DOCG. Producing only 15 million bottles per year or which only 9% are exported, it is no wonder that the wines of Franciacorta are among Italy’s best kept secrets! Other than excellent ripening conditions to produce very high quality sparkling wines, the truly unique feature of the region is the fact that all 113 producers members of the Consortium have voluntarily accepted to make their wines with the toughest rules in the world of sparkling wines and to focus only on the highest levels of quality. Here, the minimum ageing requirements on lees are higher than in Champagne and the rules of vintage, Riserva and Rosé wines are more clearly defined than any other regions.

Over 3 days, the wines of 18 different producers were tasted, all excellent quality.

An interesting category in Franciacorta is that of Satèn. These wines can only be produced with white grape varieties with slightly less pressure than other wines and must be aged for a minimum 24 months on the lees. The result is a delicate sparkling wine with gentle notes of white fruits, flowers, and peaches. The mousse is elegantly creamy, beautifully integrated making the texture supple and caressing. A delightful style category that certainly stands out from the rest of the sparkling wine world and gives much pleasures.

We tasted:

10 November

Antica Fratta Essence Satèn 2010  - bit.ly/2gRY9hb

Barone Pizzini Brut n.v. Animante  - bit.ly/2gMty1Q

Borgo la Gallinaccia Brut 2010  - bit.ly/2gMty1Q

Bellavista Vendemmia Pas Operé 2009  - bit.ly/2gMq0g6

La Valle Rosé  - bit.ly/2fWy501

Azienda Agricola Fratelli Berlucchi Casa delle Colonne Brut Riserva 2009  - bit.ly/2fWy501

11 November

La Boscaiola La via della Seta Satèn n.v.  - bit.ly/2gT1vOJ

Castello Bonomi Tenute in Franciacorta CruPerdu Brut n.v.  - bit.ly/2gMpO0k

Ca’ del Bosco Vintage Collection Brut 2010  - bit.ly/2gMqp26

Contadi Castaldi Zero Dosaggio Zero 2011  - bit.ly/2gzfhrw

Villa Franciacorta Boké Rosé 2011  - bit.ly/2gzcNta

La Montina Riserva Baiana Pas Dosé 2007  - bit.ly/2gzdz9v

12 November

Vigna Dorata Satèn n.v.  - bit.ly/2gRZbK5

La Torre Brut n.v.  - bit.ly/2fSHv1k

Majolini Electo Brut 2007 - bit.ly/2fSEtKk

Mirabella Demetra Extra Brut 2008 - bit.ly/2h57X82

Berlucchi Guido ’61 Rosé n.v.  - bit.ly/2fSKfvq

Villa Crespia Francesco Iacono Riserva Dosaggio Zero 2007  - bit.ly/2fWyVcW