Sparkling wine and special occasions are synonymous. Especially during the holidays when we celebrate with friends and family. There are so many sparkling wines to choose from today and prices can range anywhere from $6.99 to $99.00. If you don’t drink sparkling wine often enough, you can find yourself in front of hundreds of bottles in the store, not knowing what you might like; which one is “good” and does it fit within my budget? Well, today I’m bringing you the best kept secret out there on sparkling wines. I was introduced to this line of sparkling wine earlier this year and will never look back! Remarkable, affordable, premium sparkling wine from Italy. Franciacorta – Blend of Passions.
Franciacorta is a single term that defines the territory, the production method and the wine, itself. As a wine region, Franciacorta is located in the heart of Lombardy, in the province of Brescia overlooking the shores of Lake Iseo in Italy. Franciacorta wines are made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. In this region they use only the highest quality grapes and the quality of the wine is guaranteed within each bottle by the Franciacorta method. Franciacorta DOCG wines are made using the traditional process of second fermentation in the same bottle and they are the first Italian wine produced exclusively by the bottle re-fermentation to receive the DOCG status.
There are many wineries producing Franciacorta wines. The following are just a few that I have recently tried:
ANTICA FRATTA BRUT FRANCIACORTA
A deep, golden straw color in the glass with exceptionally strong bubbles. The nose on the Antica Fratta is full of nutty almonds, heavy cream and a hint of floral lavender. When you sip this wine, the bubbles and effervescence are first notable then the taste of creamy marzipan and grapefruit shine through with a nice, dry finish. At a $25.00 SRP you will find this sparkling wine to be one of your favorites!
BELLAVISTA CUVÉE FRANCIACORTA
With a light gold color and crystal clarity and brightness this Bellavista Cuvee also has incredible strength in small, little bubbles. A nose of almond dust, white tea and hibiscus. The palate is crisp and full of acidity, yet smooth on the finish with a round mouthfeel. Pear and apple peak mid palate helping make the fruit really shine in this sparkling wine. This was a clear winner for me and now a personal favorite. $35.00 SRP.
RICCI CURBASTRO EXTRA BRUT FRANCIACORTA
If you’re looking for a sparkling wine that can hold up a day or two after opening, then this is your wine! Super strong bubbles that held on, for a full 3 full days. (with champagne cork closure) the nose offers up a green apple and bread crusts. Quite a wonderful combo! The palate is full of fresh fruit, almonds and a full, fatty mouthfeel that rounds out the finish. A terrific dry sparkling wine for $40.00 SRP.
CONTADINO CASTALDI ROSE FRANCIACORTA
A feminine, light dusty rose with a powerful punch on bubbles and effervesacant. Beautiful to look at in the glass. A big nose of strawberry with yeasty bread and bright tropical fruits. The taste on this beauty is rich. A creamy mousse consistency; medium bodied and a bit of fresh, ripe strawberry on the finish. Magnificent and a great price of $25.00 SRP.
If you’re looking to fit the bill of having “Champagne Taste” on a moderate budget…then Franciacorta sparkling wines are for you. They are truly amazing and named as premium wines for a reason. When shopping for your sparkling wine this holiday season…please look for Franciacorta wines and give them a try. They are just making a splash in the US market and trust me…once everyone starts figuring out this wonderful secret of premium sparkling wines at a value price…they will most likely be even harder to come by! Ask your local wine retailers for Franciacorta Sparkling Wines…seek them out, breathe in and savor!
** Samples received courtesy of Franciacorta USA & Balzac Communications **
- What Does Brut Mean? A Simple Guide to Champagne, Sparkling Wine and other bubbly labels. (drinkwhatyoulike.wordpress.com)