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Franciacorta is the most important region for bottle-fermented sparkling wines in Italy. It also lives up to its reputation as the "Champagne of Italy" because it has a very similar portfolio of grape varieties. Here, too, two of the three main varieties are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, only the third is different, albeit closely related: Pinot Bianco instead of Pinot Meunier.

And yet the wines taste completely different. This is due on the one hand to the soils - while chalk predominates in Champagne, Franciacorta lies between Lago d'Iseo and Brescia at the extreme edge of the Po Valley on the terminal moraine of an ice-age glacier - but above all to the completely different climate. In Franciacorta, the climate is still continental, but with clear Mediterranean influences. A Franciacorta therefore usually tastes much warmer and softer than a good champagne. The fruitiness is also more pronounced here, while the yeast aromas are rarely as pronounced as in the French model.

As a result, you also have to be much more careful with the dosage. While top champagne can absorb six to eight grams of sugar almost without a trace, Franciacorta dosed in this way almost always tastes noticeably pleasant to sweet. So it is only logical that more and more producers have significantly reduced their dosage in recent years and now often do without it altogether. Fortunately, this also applies to the "Satèn", which used to have a relatively high dosage and were therefore avoided by many a die-hard sparkling wine lover. Today, among the Satèn produced exclusively from white grapes and with somewhat less carbonic acid, there are also bone-dry variants, including some of excellent quality.

Consorzio per la Tutela del Franciacorta

Which brings us to the most important news of all: There don't seem to be any really weak wines in the whole of Franciacorta. Of the 180 wines we tasted for this BEST OF, just one was "only" good, the rest at least very good. Alone 34 received 90 points and more. We had never heard of some of the producers whose wines inspired us before our tastings. In short: the whole tasting was a pleasure!

Many of our favourites are difficult or impossible to find in Germany. Franciacorta is still considered hard to sell by many merchants. This cannot even be due (always the first suspicion in Germany) to the prices, which are often very affordable given the qualities on offer. In any case, this has to change. Otherwise, unfortunately, unfortunately, we will see ourselves forced to repeat this tasting soon!

All wines were tasted blind in our tasting room; some of them several times, as even first-class sparkling wine can definitely benefit from air (and sometimes tastes even better on the second day than on the first!) As always, we present the best results here. Links to all wines with detailed tasting notes as well as their producers can be found at the end of the respective best lists.

BEST OF Franciacorta Franciacorta

BEST OF Franciacorta Franciacorta Vintage/Millesimato