Friday, July 9, 2010

Franciacorta, Italy's Answer to Champagne

I'm a girl who loves Champagne and all that sparkles and on a recent trip to Italy I discovered a new favorite, Franciacorta. Franciacorta is a sparkling wine with DOCG status (since 1995) from the territory of Franciacorta in the Lombardy region of north central Italy.

What sets this sparkling apart from other Italian sparklers is that it is made in the traditional Champagne method, or as known in Italian as metodo classico. Most other Italian sparklers; Prosecco, Spumante, etc. are made using the Charmat method, where secondary fermentation occurs in a tank, rather than the individual bottles like with the Champagne method. Permitted grape varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Nero (Noir), and Pinot Bianco (Blanc). I was so impressed with the complex, but subtle and elegant taste...and for the price, a vintage Franciacorta is a great alternative to a vintage Champagne.

My recent favorite Franciacorta finds are:

NV Ca' Del Bosco Cuvee Prestige (around $45): Yeasty, bready style, with a hint of nuttiness, minerality and great acidity

Bersi Serlini Brut Cuvee 4 Millesimo 2004 ($30) 100% Chardonnay, ripe fruit, sage, vanilla, toasted nuts and crisp acidity

Explore and enjoy!

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