Finally, a Franciacorta that I love! As a winelover there are wines that I know I will love before I even taste them, and some that I don’t think I will like, but I try to keep an open mind. Back in early 2014 I gave myself the task of trying more of a few different wines:
- Prestige Cuvée Champagne
Since then I’ve tried some lovely Muscadet, some excellent Cava and some Champagne that’s absolutely to die for. I’ve had plenty of Franciacorta that I like, but up until now not one that I love. Why is this? I think the fundamental issue is that some Franciacorta producers are trying to make their own version of Champagne, picking the grapes early to preserve acidity and then adding a dosage after disgorgement for balance, but without the cool growing conditions that permit flavours to develop so well.
Arcari + Danesi Franciacorta “Dosaggio Zero” 2013 (12.5%, RRP ~ €55 – €60)
The alternative is to make the best sparkling wine based on the local conditions. Arcari + Danesi pick their Chardonnay grapes when they are quite ripe and full of flavour; the resulting richness and moderate acidity negate the need for dosage.
Not only is this sparkler made without additional sugar after disgorgement (hence “Dosaggio Zero“), neither is any used for the second fermentation in bottle. The apparent contradiction there is because – under the “SoloUva Method” grape juice is used instead of sugar from beet or cane.
After 31 months on the lees there are some lovely autolytic notes, together with tangy tropical fruit. The finish is dry but not austere. What a fabulous wine!