Italian wine: A Taste of Franciacorta with Ca' Del Bosco
- WTI Magazine #143 Sep 18, 2021
The Franciacorta sub-region is located in the Lombardy region of northern Italy within the province of Brescia. Franciacorta is one the most prestigious, if not the most prestigious, producers of sparkling wines in Italy. The name stems from the Latin word, franchae curtes, meaning the properties that were free from tax during the Middle Ages. This area is located nearby to Lake Iseo in the south along with the rivers, Oglio and Mella. The soil there is morainic from ancient glaciers resulting in mineral rich soil. The area is protected from the cold north by the Alps and moderated by Lake Iseo.
Franciacorta was originally awarded a DOC in 1967 until it was further elevated to DOCG status in 1995. The red and white wines that originally fell under the Franciacorta DOC changed names to the CurtaFranca DOC to be segregated from the Franciacorta name that was now to be associated with sparkling wines.
The Winery ~ Ca’ del Bosco
The owner of Ca’ del Bosco is Maurizio Zanella. Maurizio’s mother, AnnaMaria Clementi, founded the winery in 1969 when she moved to Erbusco. She purchased a small house, named “Ca’ del Bosc”, on about 5 acres of land in an area surrounded by woods. The name is probably derived from the Italian word, bosco, meaning forest. At least I can feel like my years of Italian language studying have paid off. The vineyards were first planted when she bought the estate and maintained by Antonio Gandossi from the very beginning until his passing in 2011.
Maurizio at a young age was inspired by the environment surrounding him along with a trip that he took to the Champagne wine region. His “quest for excellence” is demonstrated in the wines he produces today. They have been certified organic since 2014 and are always striving to produce the highest quality with respect for the land. In 2004 Ca’ del Bosco patented a new bottling line and “zero oxygen” degorging lines that removes the oxidative stress from the wine production and requires less of a need for added sulfites.
The 2008 Ca’ del Bosco Cuvee Annamaria Clementi Franciacorta Riserva DOCG is comprised of 55% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Bianco and 20% Pinot Nero grapes. They select only the best grapes from their cru vineyards and only in the best vintages. This is the best of the best!
The 2008 vintage was the first vintage made without added dosage. Ca’ del Bosco has been producing the Annamaria Clementi wines since 1989. The grapes are harvested, chilled and grapes are selected out before they go into soaking vats. They are then crushed with fermentation taking place in small oak casks. The wine is aged in oak for 6 months with 6 months on the lees plus 9 years in the bottle. Yes, you read that right, 9 years! Riserva wines under the Franciacorta DOCG require at least 60 months of aging.
The 2008 Ca’ del Bosco Annamaria
Clementi Franciacorta Riserva was quite layered with much depth and structure. Stone fruits were present on the nose with yeasty aromas. Real nice green apple fruit on the palate with a creamy texture, probably due to the lees. Persistent bubbles with minerality showing up on the finish. ABV 12.5% SRP $100
Ca’ del Bosco is one of the mostly highly awarded winners of the Tre Bicchieri in Italy with over 40 awards. Don’t just take it from me, experience for yourself not only Ca’ del Bosco, but the wines of the Franciacorta. If you’re a Champagne lover or lover of sparkling wines you will be in for quite the treat.