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With the last article about the more known sparkling wines around the world, I know would like to introduce you to lesser known ones (which even locals don't even know, I'm telling you). Funny enough all 3 described below are wines from Italy.
The Italian Champagne, the older brother from Prosecco, all great words to describe this marvellous wine. Franciacorta comes from Bescia, situated in the Lombardy region in North-Central Italy. Made from the Chardonnay, Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) & Pinot Blanco (Pinot Blanc) grape, it is similar in taste as Champagne, but smoother & fruitier. Franciacorta is a DOCG region & the wines are made the Traditional Method, where a minimum of 18 months on the lees is required for the Franciacorta Brut. Next up is the Franciacorta Saten (bottled with less pressure to create a silky smooth mouthfeel). After this, the Millesimato (Vintage) & Riserva (Reserve) Franciacorta. Franciacorta provides depth in flavour, with yeasty, fruity, floral & nutty notes. They also produce a rosé version.
Lambrusco is the red sparkling from Emilia-Romagna region in North-East Italy. The rich Italian region produces this wine near their most known city Bologna. Lambrusco is the name of the grape too, having flavours of red & dark fruit with some herbal notes. As it’s a black grape, the wine contains tannins too. Not too much, as the sweetness covers this. It’s made the Tank Method way, & need to be drunk now. Lambrusco is also producing rosés, in different styles ranging from Secco (Dry), Semi-Secco (Off-Dry) to Amabile or Dolce (Sweet).
Sparkling Asti is the sweet sparkling from the region around the cities Asti & Alba, Italy, just west from Milan to be precise. It’s made from the aromatic white Muscat grapes, hinting pronounced elderflower, rose, peach & other stone fruit flavours. During the wine making, done the Tank Method way, the fermentation is stopped when the right (lower) alcohol % is reached. The wine is then filtered & bottled. As the wine is only fermented once, the residual sugar that’s not completely fermented, gives the wine its sweetness & low alcohol % (5-9%). There are 2 types: Moscato d’Asti DOCG (sweeter & tiny bubbles) & Asti DOCG (less sweet & robust bubbles). Rosé versions are out there too. Btw, California & Australia are paving the way with sweet sparkling too, naming it Sparkling Moscato.