A Franciacorta Masterpiece That Rivals Champagne

Vinexpo Bordeaux was the site of several talks and master classes including a special tasting showcasing the Italian sparkler Franciacorta. Little known in the United States or other parts of the world, Franciacorta may just be the next Champagne.

It hails from the Lombardy region of northern Italy, where Italians have been making renditions of sparkling wine since the 1600s. In 1993, production regulations were established recognizing only “Metodo Classico” as the sparkling wine making method in this region, the same method used to make Champagne. And in 1995, Franciacorta obtained DOCG status (Guaranteed Designation of Origin), the first to recognize Italian sparkling wine.

The area is small. Surrounded by hills, the Alps and lakes, it produces just 4 to 5% of what Champagne produces (13 million bottles annually compared to the 320 million produced in Champagne).

Bellavista winery, owned by Vittorio Moretti was the source of Franciacorta for the tasting at Vinexpo, which was designed to show the difference in sparkling wine taste between bottle formats. Five very special vintages from the last 25 years were highlighted.

mattia vesola enologist bellavista

Mattia Vesola and Marco Sabellico

The tasting was lead by Mattia Vesola, Bellavista’s enologist, beginning with a comparison of the magnum to jeraboam of Franciacorta Riserva Vittorio Moretti 2002. Next up was a magnum to salmanazar comparison of the Franciacorta Riserva Vittorio Moretti 2008. As the size of the bottles increased, the wine appeared to age slower.

It ended with Meraviglioso, the most complex Franciacorta from Bellavista. A blend of six vintages of Franciacorta Riserva Vittorio Moretti ranging from 1984 to 2002, it matured 14 years in the cellar before being disgorged. This bubbly is produced in small quantity and only in magnums.

Meraviglioso Tasting Notes

  • Aromas: Amazingly fresh apple, pear, and crème anglaise with notes of white tea and oyster mushrooms.
  • Palate: citrusy tart, a rich and round mouth feel, nuances of mango and creamy mushroom.
  • Acid: medium
  • Body: medium
  • Length: medium++

I’d happily sip Bellavista Franciacorta bubbly anytime and recommend searching it out. It is available in the US and other countries.

Wondering the number of wine bottles in each large format size? Here’s a quick list:

  • Magnum – 2
  • Jeraboam – 4
  • Methuselan – 8
  • Salmanzar – 12
  • Bathazar – 16
  • Nabuchadnezzar – 20

Bellavista won the Gambero Rosso 2017 Winery of the Year award.

Who is Gambero Rosso? A publisher and promoter of culinary periodicals, books, and guides for the food and wine sector. Segments include Digital, Città Del Gusto, Publishing and Communications, and International, which organizes and provides foreign events.



3 thoughts on “A Franciacorta Masterpiece That Rivals Champagne

    1. Lynn Post author

      Yes it was Lauren! Thankful I was able to participate and taste these Bellavista Franciacorta comparing the bottle formats- an eye opener 😉


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