Franciacorta


The Franciacorta wine zone is responsible for some of Italy's most prestigious sparkling wines. The labels bear only the name Franciacorta: a single term defines the territory, the method of production and the wine. Located along the shores of Lake Iseo in the province of Brescia, vineyards are planted in well drained morainic soils. The Pre Alps are protecting from the cold winds, and from the plain are arriving mild winds. The area has a long history of producing still red and white wines but has gained most of its' success in the last 40 years since it started producing sparkling wines. In 1995 the region received DOCG and created a separate DOC, known as Terre di Franciacorta for its non-sparkling wines.
The sparkling wines of this area are composed primarily of the Chardonnay and Pinot Nero grapes with a maximum 50 % of Pinot Bianco allowed. The area has a Crémant style wine, known under the trademarked name Satèn, that has less carbon dioxide as the standard sparkling wine but is more "bubbly" than a frizzante. This wine is not allowed to have any Pinot Nero in the blend. The rosé sparklers are required to have a minimum 15% Pinot Nero. The vintage dated wines are required to have a minimum 85% of grapes from that year's vintage. About seven months after the vintage, the base wine is inoculated with yeasts and bottled and must be aged for at least 30 months prior to release. Non-vintage wines must be aged for at least 18 months. The Franciacorta sparklers are often a little sweeter than Champagne with the brut style having up to 20 grams per liter of sugar while brut Champagne can have no more than 15 grams.

While sparkling wine production accounts for more than half of the Franciacorta area's production, many producers have begun focusing on make red Bordeaux-style blends and Burgundian style Chardonnays aged in oak. Despite the frequent use of Pinot Nero in the sparkling wines, a still Burgundian red Pinot is not permitted under the Terre di Franciacorta DOC.

  • Grapes: blend of grapes: Chardonnay and Pinot Nero and permitted addition of up to 50 % Pinot Bianco.
  • Colour: very fine, lingering perlage; pale or intense straw yellow with greenish highlights;
  • Bouquet: profumes of fresh and dried fruits, including almonds, hazelnuts and dried figs; pleasing savouriness and freshness on the palate.
  • Flavour: dry, harmonious and slightly crisp.
  • Aging: minimum 18 months the DOCG, Vintage 30 months
  • Alcohol: 12%
  • Best served with: delicious with appetizers, white meats, seawater fish, smoked seafood.
  • Serving temperature: 8-10 °C

DIFFERENT TYPES OF FRANCIACORTA:
Franciacorta Blend:
Chardonnay and/or Pinot Nero grapes. It s allowed to use Pinot Bianco grapes too for at most 50% of the blend.
Winemaking: refermentation in bottle with a minimum of eighteen months ageing on the yeasts; winemaking and maturation continue for at least twenty-five months after the harvest. Bottle pressure is five to six atmospheres.
Straw yellow with greenish or golden highlights; fine, lingering perlage; distinctive yeasty notes of crusty bread on the nose, accompanied by subtle citrus and dried fruits, including almonds, hazelnuts and dried figs; savoury, fresh-tasting, delicate and harmonious.

Franciacorta Satèn
It was registered by the consortium in 1995 to identify this particular Franciacorta wine type. This name could be used only by producers which were members of the consortium. Blend: (mainly) Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco for at most 50% of the blend (blanc de blanc).
With respect to other Franciacortas, Satèn presents lower pressure in the bottle, less than five atmospheres, which gives it its special softness in the mouth. Produced only in the Brut version.
Very fine, lingering, almost creamy perlage; more or less intense straw yellow with greenish highlights; nuanced but distinct fragrance of ripe fruit, accompanied by subtle notes of spring flowers and dried or roasted nuts, including almonds and hazelnuts; the palate reveals pleasing savouriness and freshness fusing with the deliciously soft texture, reminiscent of silk on skin. Satèn is one of the supreme expressions of Franciacorta's harmony, appeal and flavour.

Franciacorta Rosé
Blend: Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero (minimum 25%) grapes. Often Franciacorta Rosé have a quantity of Pinot Nero even higher than 25%.
Method: the white and red grapes are vinified separately. Franciacorta Rosé can be obtained from exclusively Pinot Nero base wine vinified with skin contact or from a blend of this wine with Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco base wine. The wine may be dosed to produce all flavour types.
Pinot Nero grapes are vinified with sufficient skin contact to imbue the wine with the rosé hue desired.
Pinot Nero in the blend gives this Franciacorta its unique body and vigour.

Vintage Franciacorta
Winemaking: obtained at least 85% from base wines from a single vintage; winemaking and maturation continue for at least thirty-seven months after the vintage, thirty of which are spent in bottle on the yeasts to impart its intense fragrances and subtle, elegant aromas. Often, vintage Franciacortas remain on the lees for a much longer period than the minimum laid down by the production protocol. So Franciacorta Riserva springs up.
The label indicates the year, or millesimo, of the harvest.
Vintage (millesimati) Franciacortas is obtained from grapes picked in very special climatic and harvest conditions that brought the bunches to an optimal uniform ripeness.

Franciacorta Riserva
It is a Vintage Franciacorta which can be a Satèn or Rosé too. It ages on yeasts for at least sixty months so it goes on the market after at least sixty-seven months (five years and a half) after the vintage. Since a lot of Franciacorta Millesimati spend in bottle on the yeasts much more time than the canonical thirty months, we intended to enhance their value by identifying them in a specific type. Franciacorta Riserva represents the highest qualitative expression of the territory and of Franciacorta wine producers' interpretative, as well as technical, capabilities