Barone Pizzini, Brut, Animante, DOCG Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy, NV
See my notes covering Franciacorta. In brief, the minimum ageing period before release, for NV, is 25 months after harvest, comprising at least 18 months on the lees, and at least 7 months post-disgorgement resting, to allow the dosage to meld. Pressure to be 5-6 atm.
This wine: Lot No. 310140196/Y, en tirage 04/14, disgorged 01/16; organically farmed, a blend of 78% chardonnay, 18% pinot noir, with pinot blanc; fermented in stainless steel, then aged for 6 months in stainless steel, then into bottle for 20-30 months on the lees; agglomerate cork closure, 12% abv, M5 Gloucester Services farm shop, £21 (09/16).
Consumer tasting note: a delicate nose of baked and stewed apple edged with raisins and honey; richer on the palate, with balancing fresh acidity just right – not too much not too little, with more a sense of Danish pastry with baked apple, along with a touch of gorse flower (delicate coconut-like) on the end. Finishes medium-long. Develops rapidly in the glass, no need to decant, though Hugh Johnson does suggest this.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, pale intensity lemon, showing tears and small bubbles.
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of baked apple, warm raisins, bees-wax, stewed apple, brioche, a touch of richer white stone fruit, hints of dried cut lemon peel, distant hints of honey and anise.
Palate: dry, medium acidity, medium alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a noticeable grip, with flavours of the bakery, Danish pastry, baked apple. A medium (+) length with a fresh clean stewed lightly caramelised apple finish, with a low-key grip and a touch of gorse flower (delicate coconut-like) on the end. A creamy mousse with a medium persistence.
Quality: good, well judged acidity with alcohol, altogether harmonious; decent intensity throughout, slightly lesser concentration, showing an interesting but not high level of complexity, with evidence of some bottle age with caramelised and honeyed hints. Follows into a medium-long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 1-3 years – a sound structure with decent complexity, but without concentration and indicative length.