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It was 25 March 2015, from 4 days I was Sommelier AIS and from 15 days he was born Perlage Suite... giving an online notebook with another web address had begun to have the appearance of a real wine blog! If they had told me that after 4 years I would have been a professional wine blogger I think I would have started laughing, and that same day I crossed the threshold of Vinitaly for the first time in the company of my friends Federico, Andrea and Laura. On that same day I published this article "All the colors of Franciacorta with La Montina”And I promised to visit them at the company… a nice trip from my comfort zone in Ravenna Center. To tell the truth that day I would never even have thought of going there to live in Franciacorta after just 4 months.

An established feature of me is my absolute and restless unpredictability: today I am here, tomorrow who knows… I have always lived with the terror of creating links with places and above all with people. I have always seen in the bond a chain, an impossibility of chasing that same freedom that today, in some way, I live as a limit. “We change!”, My mother would say. Yet in these 4 years an ocean of things, houses, people have changed. And I realized that child's dream of living on the lake, or rather now “in the middle of the lake” in a place where, for the first time in 34 years, I want to take root.

For me, La Montina is a bit like the place where everything started, starting with my great love story with Lake Iseo and Franciacorta. With its limits, its landscapes and its unchanged beauty. This is why when I received an invitation from the Bozza family to go to Villa Baiana on 12 October for this tasting, I immediately canceled the event I had in Milan to be here. La Montina is and will always be a special place to experience, despite the passing of time and wine, the emotion of the first time.

The first time I visited La Montina I thought that in Franciacorta there could not have been a more beautiful cellar. Today, which I presume to say that I have visited at least 80% of the wineries in Franciacorta, I can only think that I am right. L'atmosphere that I breathed Saturday, starting from the same garden, it was sweet and romantic. I love these lights that adorn the green in front of Villa Baiana, it really is a perfect place to get married. In fact, the only time I went very close 3 years ago, I also thought of doing it here ... too bad I then ran away (for a change!).

The theme of the evening was "Franciacorta and aging on the lees, palates in comparison". The tasting was conducted by one extraordinary preacher of thirsty sheep, Nicola Bonera. The sheep instead were journalists, influencers, bloggers, customers and sector operators. I must say that the palates were seriously compared and it was nice to experience the same experience with a different taste.

2004 vintage

The 2004 vintage was characterized by temperatures that were never very high during the day and rather low at night, with excellent temperature variations. During the growing season there were no great surprises or particular difficulties and the harvest was also regular in terms of quantity after two scarce seasons. The climatic trend has made it possible to enhance the collections of the various particles and create bases with very marked peculiarities according to the different areas of origin, all however agree on presenting excellent finesse and great acidity. This has allowed us to create cuvée of great freshness and aromatic complexity, potentially very long-lived and with great personality. Harvest evaluation 4.

Sample A:

Franciacorta Brut Millesimato with draft in March 2005 and disgorgement in February 2008 [4]

Intense golden yellow color with antique gold reflections. An interesting nose where candied mandarin, white chocolate, brioche, pastry cream and an oyster finish stand out. Despite being rather dry, it is better in the mouth, where they convince salinity and almost fibrous structure.

Sample B:

Franciacorta Brut Millesimato with draft in March 2006 and disgorgement in June 2018 [6]

Brilliant golden yellow color with a perlage that forms an abundant foam and a persistent crown. Elegant, intense, brilliant and very characterized by yeast, with rather woody hints. In the mouth it is crunchy, fresh and long. It didn't convince me much.

2005 vintage

The 2005 vintage was characterized by a fluctuating course at least until flowering, and then regularized until August with dry, sunny weather and good diurnal temperature variations. The sugar concentration was quite high and the acidity did not lose too much, guaranteeing particularly low PH values. The aromatic profile of the bases turned out to be very promising for elegance and aging potential. Harvest evaluation 5.

Sample C: 24 months on yeasts, 11 years and a half after disgorgement

Franciacorta Satén Brut Vintage with draw in February 2006 and disgorgement in February 2008 [2]

Particularly brilliant golden yellow color with a fine, numerous and persistent perlage. Intense, elegant and complex nose in which I recognize notes of butter, balsamic, aromatic herbs that fade into a citrine finish. Incredible freshness that is felt in the mouth, if it were not for the great balance it would seem "the day before yesterday" and certainly not 11 years ago! Very pleasant and with a rather long finish.

Sample D: 148 months on yeasts, 1 year and a half after disgorgement

Franciacorta Satén Brut Vintage with draw in February 2006 and disgorgement in February 2018 [7]

Bright and straw yellow with a perlage that forms a persistent crown. The nose is more delicate than the previous one, but the characteristic mature notes of a wine that has spent 148 months on the lees are felt clearly. Hints of lemon, candied citron and hazelnut follow one another in a floral background. In the mouth it is very coherent, still very young, with intense hints of lemon and a bubble too full and crunchy. Very long finish and great prospects.

2006 vintage

The vintage was characterized by a regular spring course which resulted in a particularly dry early summer, with a trend similar to that of 2003. From early August some rainy events restored the water balance and ripening began in the best conditions. . Since mid-August the weather has always been beautiful and stable, with daytime excursions of up to 10 degrees which have contributed to both the development of aromas and the maintenance of freshness. The bases have fine aromas, excellent PH and acidity values, good aromatic complexity and an excellent alcohol content.

Sample E: 43 months on yeasts, 9 from the disgorgement years

Franciacorta Brut Millesimato with draft in March 2007 and disgorgement in October 2010 [3]

Brilliant straw yellow with golden reflections. The perlage forms an abundant and persistent foam. The nose is particularly elegant, even if it convinced me more just poured. It gave me the idea that it oxidized particularly quickly in the air. Maintains scents of milk chocolate, honey, rock salt, Jamaica pepper, coriander and yeast. In the mouth it is crunchy, fresh, structured and intense. Very long finish.

Sample F: 136 months on yeasts, 1 year and 4 months after disgorgement

Franciacorta Brut Millesimato with draft in March 2007 and disgorgement in June 2018 [5]

Bright straw yellow with golden reflections. The perlage is fine and forms a particularly abundant froth. The nose is elegant and citrine, with a very strong hint of lemon and a finish of pleasant raw butter. In the mouth it shows a great consistency above all in the freshness and citrus scents. It has an important structure and a long finish, but it is still very young.

Sample G: 20 months on yeasts, 11 years after disgorgement

Franciacorta Satén Brut Vintage with draw in February 2007 and disgorgement in October 2008 [1]

Brilliant straw yellow with golden reflections. Fine and numerous perlage that forms an abundant foam and a persistent crown. The nose is complex and elegant, very floral. I recognize clear notes of lime blossom, dandelion, honey, green apple and Brazilian nuts. In the mouth it has a crisp bubble, with an incredible sour shoulder in relation to the age of disgorgement.

Sample H: 137 months on yeasts, 1 year and 4 months from disgorgement

Franciacorta Satén Brut Vintage with draw in February 2007 and disgorgement in June 2018 [8]

Bright straw yellow. Fine perlage that forms abundant and persistent foam. The nose is acidulous and intense, not particularly open. The scents of yeast are very strong. In the mouth it is crunchy, intense and consistent.

  1. Franciacorta Satén Brut Millesimato 2006 with 2007 draw in February and disgorging in October 2008 [Champion G]
  2. Franciacorta Satén Brut Millesimato 2005 with 2006 draw in February and disgorging in February 2008 [Sample C]
  3. Franciacorta Brut Millesimato 2006 with 2007 draft in March and disgorgement in October 2010 [Sample E]
  4. Franciacorta Satén Brut Millesimato 2004 with 2005 draw in March and disgorging in February 2008 [Sample A]
  5. Franciacorta Satén Brut Millesimato 2005 with 2006 draw in February and disgorging in February 2018 [Sample D]
  6. Franciacorta Brut Millesimato 2004 with 2005 draft in March and disgorgement in June 2018 [Sample B]
  7. Franciacorta Satén Brut Vintage with draw in February 2007 and disgorgement in February 2018 [Sample F]
  8. Franciacorta Satén Brut Millesimato 2006 with 2007 draw in February and disgorgement in June 2018 [Sample H]

Since the theme of the evening is "Franciacorta, palates compared", my personal ranking shows that my palate he particularly enjoyed the 2006 vintage and is rather neutral between the Brut or Satén Brut formula. What is really interesting is that the first 4 positions are all occupied by the oldest disguises and that with the same harvest I prefer a shorter stay on the lees and a longer aging period in the bottle

After the visit to the cellar, where we could also admire a rather beautiful African art exhibition (I was particularly struck by the painting with the musical instruments), we moved on to dinner. For the occasion, instead of making use of the Chefs of La Montina, they wanted us to discover the talent of a very young person Chef of Lovere: David Fiordigiglio. I would define him as a "child prodigy" both for the way he cooks and for the way he exhibits his dishes to an audience of journalists that is still exciting even for a more seasoned one. He's just 22, he's absolutely amazing. 😍

Super scallops in Ceviche with fruit, lime and coriander ... to try also in the variant with mint instead of the latter which, having a particular flavor, some may not like!

Commendable is the idea of ​​placing the risotto prepared with a leek broth only, a butter acidulated with onion and of course the Franciacorta La Montina on raw red prawns that have cooled down with the heat of the rice. The taste was very good, although I would have liked it slightly more to the wave. However, the dish should be studied better because placing 4 tablespoons of rice on raw shrimp is not worthy of the exquisite flavor, as well as I prefer odd numbers and round up, so next time we make 5 piles that we don't feel only if it is cooked !  😆 Placing such a risotto on a plate is not easy, especially to obtain the "blanket" effect for the shrimp ... but it still needs to be studied carefully! The idea of ​​using edible flowers is perfect, in short, David needs to play with shapes to give justice to the taste of his risotto! The cucumber granita with mint foam is very tasty… I ate two portions but I would have gladly bored the third as well! And then I didn't say that there is no two without three! 

This is one of the shots I stole from the kitchen, where I spent some time. I really like watching the chefs who work, it's like they dance, in the cases of good even with great harmony, a secret dance of which only they know the steps. This was a small interlude between the risotto and the second course (the only dish that didn't stand out because the texture of the meat wasn't perfect) that I found absolutely brilliant. I know that to the eye it looks like a banal meat tartare (unfortunately not beaten with a knife as it is used in Piedmont) ... but its strength is to want to play with tastes and textures. In practice it is a raw tartare with the fat of the same roast meat on top. Really interesting, to try again with a knife fassona tartare that could be seasoned with the fat of the cooked meat instead of the extra virgin olive oil (I feel the frown of my beloved friend Marco Antonucci on me right now, the I know well ...).

Even though my mother traumatized me with fennel and there is normally no way of making me eat it, the dish I most appreciated was the dessert created in collaboration with Valrhona. In practice, I found it a splendid game of textures, temperatures and tastes! Fennel, white chocolate and licorice go together in an incredible way… really too good!

The adorable president of La Montina Vittorio Bozza he told me that the secret of his youth of mind and body lies in drinking and eating well and in making love often. I think exactly like him and I hope to have the privilege of growing old with the same clarity of spirit and sweetness of mind. ❤️

Many thanks to the whole Bozza family that I had a great pleasure in embracing, especially in Alceo, Giancarlo and Michele, whom I will always love and when he smiles he is able to stop the world. Or stop mine, but I have a thing for him is something known for at least 4 years!

 

Cheers 🥂

Chiara

PS the company of Marina Tagliaferri of the Agorà Press Office, a company I hope to enjoy very soon! 😍

And you know the Franciacorta La Montina? What do you think about it? Write it in a comment!

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