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Berlucchi, Franciacorta Brut

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Berlucchi Franciacorta Brut

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Most of Europe’s wine regions got their starts centuries ago. They are well established and their histories are well known. Of course young winemakers are rediscovering old abandoned regions that offer good grape growing conditions and inexpensive land to forge their own way in the world.
Just south of Milan in Italy surrounded by lakes to keep the region cool lays one such growing area.
Franciacorta is Italy’s answer to Champagne. Located in Lombardi in the north of Italy, the area of Franciacorta is just south of the Alps and surrounded by large lakes that make this the perfect place to grow grapes. Still wines were made in this area since Roman times, but they were not as distinctive as other regions of Italy.
Berlucchi, one of Franciacorta’s wineries was convinced by a young winemaker Franco Ziliani to make some sparkling wine in late 1950’s. The wines were an instant hit and Ziliani was allowed to increase production the following year and today Berlucchi is the leading producer of Franciacorta.
Franciacorta wines were elevated to DOCG status in 1995. The must be made in the Metodo Classico, using secondary fermentation in the bottle. The permitted grapes are Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco. Wine Enthusiast breaks down the different aging qualifications, “Franciacorta wines are either nonvintage, released at least 25 months after harvest, or vintage (millesimato). Vintage Franciacorta is released 37 months after the harvest, and like Champagne, must see prolonged contact with yeasts in the bottle for increased depth, persistence and elegance.”
Saten style Franciacorta is brut and only uses white grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco; it is similar in style to Champagne’s Blanc to Blanc.
Berlucchi Franciacorta is dark straw yellow in color. It has aromas of citrus and yeasty bread from the exploding bubbles reaching the flutes surface. The palate is alive with tangy lemon-lime peel that excites the tongue.
As the weather heats up look to Franciacorta to keep you cool. Enjoy as an aperitivo or with lighter appetizers. Its crisp acidity can cut through rich flavors as well.

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