Barone Pizzini, Brut, Animante, DOCG Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy, NV
On DOCG Franciacorta
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. 309841906/Y, en tirage 04/14, disgorged 07/16; 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; Diamant agglomerate cork closure, 12% abv, M5 Gloucester Services farm shop, £21 (03/17).
Consumer tasting note: bottle fermented, mostly chardonnay, from northern Italy, with around 2 years spent on the lees, disgorged about 3 years ago and now showing a tertiary dimension. The aromas are quite strong, of pastry, leaf tea, stewed apple, biscuit and honey, along with a delicate sugary confected note; medium bodied with fine acidity, and flavours of Danish pastry, biscuit and caremelised stewed apple. A medium-long length.
Drink now – RTD and will keep for 2-4 years – Wait. No need to decant.
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, lightly doughy, touch of raisin, rich leaf tea, biscuit, a delicate note of sugary confectionery, lightly caramelised stewed apple edged with wax, a hint of thin honey, aged steak fat, indistinct dried stone fruit – peach perhaps.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture and a low-key grip, with flavours of biscuit, leaf tea, Danish pastry, doughy hints, a hint of aged steak fat, lightly caramelised stewed apple. A medium (+) length with a clean delicate finish of leaf tea, edged with biscuit and stewed apple, with a low-key grip; a creamy mousse with a long persistence.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced acidity with alcohol, altogether suiting the quite strong intensity and slightly lesser concentration; showing a better than moderate, but not high level of complexity, with evidence of bottle age by way of caramel, honey and raisin notes. Follows into a fragrant medium-long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 2-4 years – a sound structure and balance, fully developed, with significant but not a high level of complexity, and marked down a little for length, intensity and concentration.