The italian writer Camilla Baresani uses the term “franciacorta” with the small “f” to emphasize that it does not need “typographic emphasis”. It is easy: it represents great Italian bubbles!
First, let’s understand the terminology: “Franciacorta” is the production area of the province of Brescia in Lombardy but also the classic method used to produce sparkling wine in this area. The term was chosen as a result of the restrictions imposed by French who, to defend their own production of Champagne in the homonymous area of Champagne, prevented the use of this term (champagne) for wines produced outside of it.
On the label of “Il Mosnel” you can read “from 1836, the time and experience had taught us how to turn our grapes into emotion” and it’s really exciting to drink these wines. I had the pleasure to try them just a few weeks ago right there in Franciacorta and exactly in their winery where the owners, the 2 brothers Giulio and Lucia Barzanò, have guided me on a historical tour, despite the production of sparkling Franciacorta has only some decades.
I have to admit they are among the best sparkling wines I have tried in the area it and without even needing to try special vintages or Reserves.
For example, their Franciacorta Brut, blend of Chardonnay (60%), Pinot Blanc (30%) and Pinot Noir (10%) has evolved in the glass during the tasting becoming softer and more and more pleasant. It is the so-called “basic” product which rests on the lees 18 months; to be enjoyed as an aperitif or with fish dishes. I also loved their ‘Pas Dosè’, i.e. Franciacorta with no added sugars, a practice this one, which seems to be getting more and more popular, which leaves hopefully portends an even better perception of sparkling wine to be enjoyed not only in special occasions and in particular to not be paired to cakes!
Let me explain it better: as a result of the “uncorking” aimed at eliminating the cap of yeast formed during second fermentation in the bottle (which is typical for the production of classic method sparkling wine), you lose a little amount of liquid due to the presence of carbon dioxide which makes this operation relatively violent. Thus, to replace the amount of product lost (before the bottle is closed with cork and cage) other liquid is inserted and it can be only wine in the case of “zero-dose” or a “syrup dosage” composed of basic Franciacorta wine plus sugar in a quantity that will determine the type of flavor here ranked in ascending order of sugar syrup dosage: Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, sec or Demi-sec.
The ‘Pas Dose’ of “Il Mosnel” winery is a blend of 4 wines (Chardonnay 30% fermented in oak, 30% Chardonnay fermented in stainless steel, 30% Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir 10%, both fermented in steel) that rest on the lees for 30 months. Very elegant with a hint of acidity perfectly balanced, the I would pare to my beloved crustaceans!