Ca’ Del Bosco Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 2010, Franciacorta, Italy

Ca’ Del Bosco Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 2010

55% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Bianco, 20% Pinot Nero. 18 vineyards in Erbusco, Adro, Corte Franca, Iseo and Passirano. Notable for the high percentage of Pinot Bianco, otherwise declining in importance in Franciacorta. Whole bunch pressed to 39% extraction – coeur de cuvée style. 100% fermented in small oak barrels (minimum 3 yrs old), on which the base wines remain for 6 months. Full malolactic. Disgorged Autumn 2019 with no dosage or sulphite addition. 

2010 opens up with explosive charred grapefruit, ripe yellow apples and blossom honey. It manages to tone down anything too peachy or tropical, trading off delicious verbena/bergamot perfume and a gorgeous spicing from white pepper, cinnamon and basil. Shifting in its seat, it gives you a different view every 5 minutes. Proper complexity from blending here. 

It’s also pretty remarkable for a 100% oak-aged wine, letting the wood play brilliantly off reductive smoke and frangipane sweetness without smudging the fruit in butter or toffee. Golden crystal fruits just march steadily, evenly, towards more charred grapefruit and spice as it closes out. Lingering almond skin sends you back in. Wonderfully addictive. 

It does offer that little squeeze though the mid-palate you get with some zero dosage wines (and a touch of powdery, rocky grip), but here it is refreshing and light, not hollow or abrupt. There’s intensity, but it’s delivered with a cool, steady hand. Will it maintain this poise with age? Who knows! I wouldn’t bet against it. 18

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Berlucchi Brut ’61, Franciacorta, Italy. 

90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir. 24 months on lees. All Stainless steel. 

Notes as written blind from The Big Blind Bargain Bubble Tasting.

So appetising. This is the other Franciacorta, Berlucchi? Reminds me of the Satèn ’61 I had 2 weeks ago. Ripe, golden Chardonnay fruits and some lovely buttery, peppery and spicy notes coming in. A little tropical. Pristine, sunny, very good indeed. Who wouldn’t like this wine? 17

Enrico Gatti Franciacorta Brut

100% Chardonnay, 24 months on lees. All stainless steel.

Notes as written blind from The Big Blind Bargain Bubble Tasting. Clean, clear and slightly peppery fruits. Yellow apple and herbs, in a quite an elegant style. Doesn’t quite come together but a very good effort. 16.5

Berlucchi Franciacorta ’61 Satèn

100% Chardonnay, in the satèn style (bottled at a lower pressure). NV, disgorged in 2019. This such an assured wine, perfect for anyone trying to get to grips with what Franciacorta Chardonnay is all about.

The fruit is so clear and transparent, sunny but controlled with fragrant peaches, ripe pear and a nice juicy grapefruit bite keeping it keen. 2 years on lees just rounds it out – it doesn’t need more as the body and freshness is right where it should be. It’s not toasty or developed in style. Just pure fruit, perfect for a sunny aperitif. Great value. 16.5

Fratelli Berlucchi Freccianera 2012

60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Bianco, 10% Pinot Nero. Ripe, slightly pithy mandarin and candied grapefruit with sweet peach, pear and quince. Some sweet creaminess on the nose. Quite straightforward – not much backbone or length here, with slightly phenolic character coming through on the palate and introducing a little harshness. Some toast. Attractive

15

Date Tasted : 15/11/2018

Majolini Brut Millesimato 2010

90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir. I’m not sure how long this has had either on lees or post-disgorgement, but it’s showing some interesting development. Intense grapefruit and citrus character on the nose, going towards tropical fruits laced with bitter herbs and honey. Sweet quince preserve adds to the complexity, as does that slightly pithy character on the palate. It does work well, though it’s not completely harmonious. I would probably have had this a bit younger. Distinctive.

15.5

Date Tasted : 05/05/2018

/ 2010, Classic Blend, Franciacorta, Majolini