From the winery:
SRP of $38 and available at that price (Saturday Splurge). Sample submitted for review.100% Chardonnay sparkling wine from Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy.
“By planting cover crops and using green manure, we increase the vitality of the soil. As a result, the character and balance of this unique, singular vintage are expressed through the wine.
A bit of a changeup for us today with not only a rather pricey Saturday Splurge, but a sparkling wine. The reason is that this isn’t just any sparkling wine, but a wine produced using the methode champenoise where secondary fermentation happens in the bottle like Champagne. Of course the name Champagne can only be used on wine produced in the Champagne region in France where this bubbly winemaking tradition goes back several centuries. Franciacorta is Italy’s relatively new answer.
A step up from Prosecco and Asti, Franciacorta wines have the lowest allowable grape yields of all sparkling wines in Europe. Sparkling wines have been made here since the 1950s, but the region was just granted DOCG status in 1995 (DOCG is the highest level of quality certification in Italy). The wines can be made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a little Pinot Bianco thrown in as well. And while the region is growing, it produces about 1/100 the volume of Champagne.
The 2009 Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Saten begins with a very pleasant, very complex aroma of citrus, apple, spice, a bit of fresh baked bread and a little vanilla. This is one of those wines that gives you something different with every sniff and I love it. The wine tastes a bit creamy and has similar flavors to the nose with good fizz and an absolutely wonderful mouthfeel. A fabulous food wine, it ends dry, crisp and clean.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.