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Franciacorta tasting notes

text and photographs © 2014 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Franciacorta and its wines.


Barone Pizzini is imported into the UK by Vintage Roots.

Barone Pizzini, Franciacorta Brut Animante NV, Italy
The blend is Chardonnay 78%, Pinot Nero 18%, Pinot Bianco 4%, with a dosage of 6.8g/l. Very fresh and refreshing nose, with lovely creaminess and soft, quite biscuity autolysis. Silvano says 25% of the blend is reserve wines back to 2008, on 2010 base. Really attractive palate, so fresh and appetising, but beautifully creamy fruit of custardy apple and a lovely line and tangy citrus to the finish. Delightful. 90/100.

Barone Pizzini, Franciacorta Satèn 2009, Italy
All Chardonnay, 33% of which was fermented in oak. The dosage here is low again, at around 7g/l. Very gentle lemony aromas and creaminess. The palate has beautiful balance, so gently mouth-filling, but crisp and vital ,beautiful harmony. 90/100.

Barone Pizzini, Franciacorta Nature 2009, Italy
A zero dosage blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, fermented in stainless steel. Lovely floral touches to this, a little honey too, with such a fresh, salt-licked, bracing palate. Real lemon zest tang, lime peel, and beautiful harmony again. 89-90/100.

Barone Pizzini, Franciacorta Rosé 2010, Italy
100% Pinot, an assemblage with 25% of red wine, made in stainless steel and barrique. Very bold, pomegranate colour, lovely hint of bread character against dry redcurrant and berries, and a delicate smokiness. Lovely palate, with such beautiful rose hip and cranberry, a hint of strawberry, and such a long, harmonious flavour. 91/100.

Barone Pizzini, Franciacorta Riserva Bagnadore Decimo Terzo Pas Dosé 2006, Italy
The name is a mouthful, but then so is the wine. This zero dosage blend comes from a single vineyard and spends 60 months on the lees. It's a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, 40% of which was fermented and aged in barriques. Beautiful golden colour, masses of miniscule bubbles. What a terrific wine, with a very Burgundian, serious and vinous appeal. There is biscuity and delicious ripeness to the fruit, but the core of nutty, beautifully oxidative fruit with orange and a hint of hazelnut and chocolate. Fabulous stuff. 93/100.

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