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The Franciacorta DOCG is a region that deserves to be better known. Located in the eastern part of Lombardy it has an ideal climate and terrain for making wine. Still wines have been produced in the area since the time of the Roman Empire, but its current reputation is based on the high quality of its sparkling wines.
Starting in the early 1960’s the area has been producing sparkling wines using the same methods as in Champagne with a slight difference in grapes. They use Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as in Champagne, but they do not use Pinot Meunier. A fair amount of Pinot Blanc is used, which is a very minor grape in Champagne. The aging and dosage requirements are at least as strict as in Champagne and in some cases more so.
The results as shown in Bonfadini’s “Nobilium” Franciacorta Brut, NV, are very good, rivaling the better Champagne houses. Made from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir it is a light and elegant wine with a creamy texture and fine bubbles. Delicious on its own it also pares well with oysters and caviar.