WINE BOX IN MAY (STAGE 38), LED BY MARCO BARBETTI (BEST SOMMELIER IN ITALY 2018), DEDICATED TO THE WINES OF BRESCIA
On the western shores of Lake Garda, those of the Brescia side, a small sub-area extends, nestled between the lake and the morainic hills: the Valtènesi.
Always suited to viticulture thanks to its temperate climate which benefits from the influences of the lake, here you can breathe a relaxed, relaxed and slow atmosphere, a mood that certainly inspired Pompeo Molmenti, in 1896, to produce a claret wine in the Provençal fashion. The protagonist of this characteristic production is the Groppello vine, which owes its name to the compact shape of its bunch, similar to a "groppo", "node" in dialect.
Here, in 1920 Pietro Folli founded his winery, transforming the wheat fields into vineyards. The company is passed down through generations, becoming a point of reference for organic production, especially thanks to Eligio's efforts. In love with groppello and driven by the desire to promote its territory, Podere dei Folli is one of the best expressions of Valtènesi rosé.
If you search for “Botticino” among the first results you will find news about its famous marble quarries. The slabs prepared here were used to build the Altar of the Fatherland and the White House. This territory, perched on the slopes of the Prealps, however, hides another excellence: its great wines.
Divided into the three communities of Botticino Sera, Botticino Mattina and San Gallo, the soils are characterized by the presence of iron, limestone and potassium, excellent elements, together with the Mediterranean climate, which give light to wines of structure and power. Barbera, marzemino, sangiovese and schiava gentile are the protagonist grapes of the denomination.
The Franzoni company is based in this busy context, made up of workers always at work, farmers on tractors sending emails from their smartphones, couriers carrying enormous slabs of marble to be shipped all over the world.
From 1910 until today the tradition of producing wine has been handed down for four generations. The company is an example of someone who has been able to keep up with the times, optimizing production processes while always remaining faithful to the classic nature of wine. The eight hectares of property are located north of Mount Maddalena which dominates the city of Brescia, located in a temperate climatic island and decidedly suited to the cultivation of vines.
Lugana is one of the few denominations to be "two-faced", that is, to include Lombard and Venetian soil within it. The territory, which embraces the shores of the lake, is divided into two areas. The first - the beating heart of the DOC - has a flatter nature and includes the municipality of San Benedetto di Lugana, a sort of CRU not yet recognized. The second is hillier and reaches more than 130 meters above sea level. Throughout the area, which enjoys the beneficial influences of the lake, the Turbiana vine, called "lugana" and a close relative of the Trebbiano di Soave, has found its perfect habitat.
The Pasini San Giovanni agricultural company has been located in this context since 1958. Now in its third generation of winemakers, the Pasini family produces its wines with particular attention to the environment. Organic farming and carbon footprint certification are the characteristics that distinguish their production, which is decidedly dedicated to quality.
Preafète Riviera del Garda Classico Valtenesi rosè, Podere dei Folli
The wine takes its name from the production area in the Soffaino hills, called Preafète, which means "many stones". This rosé wine is produced from Groppello (60%) with the addition of small percentages of marzemino (15%), Barbera (20%) and Sangiovese (5%), as permitted by regulations.
After the manual harvest, the grapes are vinified with the characteristic method called "one night's wine" (in the past the maceration of the must on the skins lasted for one night). Today two macerations are carried out, then assembled. The first takes place in the press, softly and at low temperature, thus guaranteeing aromas and delicacy. The second takes place in the tub with the "bleeding" method to promote greater structure. After fermentation in steel, the wine ages for 4/5 months on the fine lees, always in steel.
In the glass it presents a beautiful cherry pink. The nose is intense, with clear notes of small red fruits, such as raspberry, and grapefruit. The bouquet is simple and immediate, but intense and enriched by floral notes. It is light in the mouth, but what is striking is its flavor and freshness which stimulate drinking. The finish is medium persistent.
Wine to drink immediately but which can remain in the bottle for 1-2 years.
Pairing: pink pepper salmon fillet with light basil pesto. Serve at 10-12° C.
Tenuta Bettina Botticino, Franzoni
The grapes used for production (Barbera 35%, Marzemino 35%, Sangiovese 20% and Schiava Gentile 10%) are produced in a hilly area, well protected from the cold Nordic currents. The soils are clayey with a predominance of limestone and are located at a height of approximately 200-300 meters above sea level.
After fermentation, refinement takes place in steel vats, with passages of at least 10 months in 30 hl oak barrels.
In the glass the wine is a classic ruby red. On the nose the bouquet is elegant, rich in fruity hints, such as plums and cherries, but also floral, spicy notes and a little vanilla. In the mouth the sip is light but warm, for a soft and balanced wine, with excellent freshness.
Aging: the wine will keep in the bottle for another 2/3 years.
Pairing: try it with the classic Brescian spit, serving it at 14-15° C.
The Lugana Lugana, Pasini San Giovanni
100% turbiana produced from vineyards grown according to organic farming on the clayey shores of Lake Garda. The grape harvest is often carried out in two phases to enjoy a double level of ripeness. Fermentation and refinement take place in steel.
The color is the most typical of young Lugana, a pale straw yellow. On the nose it presents a fine and elegant bouquet, with evident references to yellow plum, white flowers and thyme.
In the mouth the sip is easy and light, perfectly balanced and characterized by a very pleasant flavor.
It can remain in the bottle for another 1 or 2 years.
Pairing: try it with ricotta and spinach cannelloni, serving it at 8° C.
Bespoi Riviera del Garda classic rosé, Podere dei Folli
Bespoi, in the Soffaino hills, is the production area of this charmat method, and means "area rich in medlars". The calcareous and gravelly soil gives the wine finesse and elegance. This elegant rosé sparkling wine is produced from Groppello grapes (70%), with the addition of small percentages of marzemino (10%), Barbera (15%) and Sangiovese (5%), as permitted by regulations.
After the manual harvest, the grapes are softly pressed and macerated with a dual method, before being assembled. The first takes place in the press, softly and at low temperature, and this guarantees aromas and delicacy. The second takes place in the tub with the "bleeding" method to promote greater structure.
After fermentation in steel, the second fermentation takes place in an autoclave, with aging on the yeasts for a few months. This technique allows us to maintain the olfactory fragrance and gustatory freshness, traditional of Valtènesi.
After pouring it, you will be struck by the beautiful cherry color that shines in the glass and by the fine and quite persistent perlage. Its bouquet, simple but intense, is characterized by notes of wild strawberries, raspberries and flowers. In the mouth it is fresh and soft, with the perlage that teases the palate and underlines the savory note.
Wine to drink immediately, but which can rest for another 12 months.
Pairing: risotto with trout fillet. Serve at 6-7° C.
“Foja d'or” Botticino Riserva, Franzoni
A real gem, produced only in the best years for a maximum of 5000 bottles.
The grapes used for the production of this wine come from the estate's historic vineyards, with an average age of 40/50 years, grown at an altitude between 400 and 700 above sea level, in marl soils. Production is less than 70 q/Ha. The vines are those authorized by regulations: Barbera (45%), Marzemino (30%), Sangiovese (10%) and Schiava Gentile (10%). After the late harvest, the company implements its historic methodology of drying 90% of the grapes, extending it for over two months. The refinement takes place for at least 4 years in Slavonian oak barrels with a capacity of 15 hectolitres. The refinement then continues for another four months in the bottle.
The wine has a beautiful intense ruby red color and by rotating the glass it shows the beautiful density. The nose is very intense with a rich and complex bouquet, characterized by ripe cherries, dried flowers and important spicy nuances, rich in vanilla and tobacco.
In the mouth it is confirmed as a structured wine, with a good alcohol content which enhances its softness. The fleshy tannin and good freshness make it balanced and elegant.
The finish is long and persistent.
The wine will improve further with a further couple of years of ageing.
Pairing: wild boar stew; serving temperature 16° C.
Centopercento Classic method Extra brut, Pasini San Giovanni
100% Groppello (one of the two souls of the company together with Turbiana) grown on sandy calcareous moraine soils.
A real gem, given that it is probably the first classic method Blanc de Noir in the area, produced with Groppello grapes vinified in white. The refermentation takes place in the bottle using the unprocessed sugars from the first fermentation. The refinement takes place on the yeasts for 36 months and after disgorgement it is dosed with very little sugar.
A radical wine, as they like to define it, with an intense golden yellow color with orange veins. The nose is intense and complex, with notes of fruit, flowers and very pleasant hints of loaf bread and yeasts. In the mouth it is lashing with a beautiful acidity accompanied by flavor. A balanced wine thanks to its softness. The persistent finish closes with a brief bitter note.
Aging: to be drunk immediately even if it benefits from further refinement of 3-4 years. It would be really interesting to evaluate its evolution even over a longer period of time...
Pairing: risotto with lake fish, serve at 6° C.