When we think of Italian bubbles, what sparkling word comes to mind? Prosecco- right?
Well, it's not surprising when we think of Italian sparkling wine that we think of Prosecco first, as it's the largest selling wine in Italy. But Prosecco from Veneto is only one type of Italian sparkling; there's also Asti from Piedmont, Lambrusco from Emilia, Trent DOC and Franciacorta from Lombardy.
So what is Franciacorta?
Fraciacorta is a sparkling wine from the north west of Brescia in the north of Italy, with DOCG status produced from grapes grown within the boundaries of the territory of the same name. While winemaking in the area is recorded as far back as the thirteenth century, Franciacorta became the first DOC to specify that its sparkling wines must be made by the traditional 'metodo classico'. Because that is the highest quality sparkling winemaking method, Fraciacorta is the closest Italian sparkling to Champagne, and is perhaps my favourite of the Italian bubblies.
When winemaker Brescian Simone Maiolini was in Sydney recently we got to taste his Brescian Franciacorta range, were the first to try a new wine, and also got more than we bargained for: a demonstration of sabrage. All were enjoyed over a private dining room lunch hosted by The Wog With The Grog at Ormeggio at the Spit which carries his wine on the restaurant list.
His Majolini Fanciacorta range includes a - 90% Chardonnay 10% Pinot Nero - Brut which is as close to a stylish dry classic as you will find. The percentages change just a little for the Millesimato 'Electo' with 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Nero creating a personality and self-assurance that is mature and complex. Of the half a dozen others in the range, including Brut and Demi Sec Rosé, the Millesimato Reserva offers the additional minerality at the front of the palate of a 'Blanc de Blanc' with 100% Chardonnay. Millesimato Riserva 'Valentino Miaolini' showcases the best vintages and celebrstes Valentino Maiolini who started the wine adventure in the '70s, just after the DOCG was declared. Majolini Wines has been carried on by his sons and grandchildren.The Wog With The Grog is the exclusive importer of Majolini Wines in Australia www.thewogwiththegrog.com.au