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Info about Italian Wine Guide
Regions: 20 Zones: 172 Types of wine: 1283 Words in dictionary: 145
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Region: Lombardia

Franciacorta DOCG

Facts about this wine

Wine: White wine
Kind: Spumante
Taste: From dry to sweet
Volume: Medium
Min. alcohol: 11.5%
Mandatory Storage: Min. 25 mos.
Storage potential: No saving potential

The Franciacorta DOCG zone lies in the middle of Lombardy, more specifically south of the beautiful mountain lake, Lago d’Iseo (Lake Iseo), and includes 19 communes in the Brecia province. A not insignificant portion of Italy’s production of the sparkling Spumante types comes from here. Actually, the demand is so great that several types are cultivated from grapes from neighboring zones, but these are not allowed to use the much sought-after ”DOCG” on the label. However, that doesn’t make the wines any less good.

Franciacorta has been known for producing quality wines for centuries, but the sparkling types are relatively new. In conjunction with the fact that an increasing number of serious producers were focusing on quality sparkling wines, Franciacorte’s reputation as one of Italy’s best in this area grew. The crowning achievement came when the zone’s drier sparkling wine was elevated to a DOCG in 1995.

Many compare the Franciacorta wines with those from Champagne, and that’s not completely out of place. To name the differences, the Italian types are less acidic and contain a bit more sweetness and fruit, which is due to the more southern, and thus warmer, climate.

Franciacorta’s elevation to DOCG in 1995 only included the sparkling wines, but there arose an almost Babel-like confusion regarding the names, because the producers of the non-sparkling types decided to change their name to Terre di Franciacorta DOC. This decision was not met with widespread joy. The result was that they sold their wines under the name, Curtefranca. The whole misery ended in 2008, when they established the Curtefranca DOC for the non-sparkling red and white wines.

Back to Franciacorta DOCG.

The production method is exclusively Metodo Classico (natural fermentation in the bottle), and the grape composition consists of Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco and/or Pinot Nero.

The color is a more or less straw yellow, often with green or golden reflections, and the bouquet reflects the beauty of bottle fermentation. The aroma is noticeable, but still smooth, fine and complex. The taste is delightfully fresh, fine and harmonious, with both fruit and hints of a slight fruit-sweetness.

Mandatory maturing is 18 months in the bottle, and the wine cannot be released for sale earlier than 25 months from the day when the last grapes were harvested.

In addition to the aforementioned, there are also three different types: Franciacorta Satèn (or Cremant), Franciacorta Rosé and Franciacorta Millesimato. The first is made exclusively made from Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco, and the other type is, as the name implies, more or less intense pink color and must contain Pinot Nero (15-100%) and Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco (0-85%).

For the third type, at least 85% of the wine must come from the same vintage. In addition, it must age at least 30 months, and must first be released for sale 37 months after the day the last grapes were harvested.

As you can see, the aging requirements are far stricter than in Champagne.

Generally, Franciacorta DOCG is available in the following types: Brut (dry), Extra dry (lightly sweet) Demi sec (medium sweet) and Sec (sweet).

Franciacorta DOCG is widely enjoyed as an aperitif or with the entire meal.

Great dishes to have with Franciacorta DOCG

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Did you know?

Italy extends over 10 latitudes – from continental climate to subtropical climate?