I have a passion for Champagne, thanks especially to Samantha Dugan in Southern California, who keeps my fridge stocked with new small producers, but my heart truly belongs to Franciacorta. Where else in Italy do you find the chalky soils and the cold temperatures necessary to producer high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for metodo classico sparkling wine production?
I tasted a very delicious bottle of Rose Franciacorta in Roma this year, thanks to my beautiful friend Brittany Carlisi (she also Loves the Bubbles!). We met at one of her favorite Roman hangs, Ai Tre Scalini.
The barman was kind enough to pop this bottle of Francesco Uberti’s “Francesco I” Franciacorta. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, re-fermented in the bottle, then left to age for 36 months on the lees before disgorement. 3 years!
Franciacorta may be one of the most misunderstood categories for Italian wine- it’s the underdog of sparkling wine. People just don’t understand the truly difficult, time-consuming (3 years and MORE) process to create these bottles. Imagine the investment of time, money and space the winery has to make to craft these wines? This is not your average “tank method” sparkler that is made in bulk and then bottled. These are special wines, crafted to take advantage of the unique terroir of Franciacorta, made for the passion of sparkling wine- certainly not for making a profit.
The Francesco I Rosé Brut was pale pink with a tinge of that beautiful salmon color. Initially rose petals and raspberries on the nose. A lot of fruit- this is clearly NOT champagne- but it was delicate and punctuated with acidity. Small bubbles, probably due to the very long fermentation, and a good deal of that Pinot Noir funk that I love. This was a perfect apperitivo, but could have paired easily with a main course- structured, great acidity and tannins all present and accounted for.
Franciacorta is Love for Bubble-Lovers.