The wine region of Franciacorta lies between Brescia and Bergamo, on the banks of Lago d'Iseo. Good wine is made here in a mild but windy climate. The fame of Franciacorta has been established chiefly by its sparkling wines.
The Franciacorta Cremant is made with Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco, Franciacorta rose uses Pinot Nero (minimum 15%) and Chardonnay and/or Pinot Bianco. The best Franciacorta Spumantes are white wines made with Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, and/or Pinot Nero (without skins).
The wine has a superb colour that is deep golden yellow with a tinge of green and a sparkle of pure gold. The nose is fresh and heady while the taste is juicy, and both fresh and refined. Drinking temperature is 42.8-48.2°F (6-9°C) . Franciacorta also produce a number of pleasant red and white still wines. The reds are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Barbera, and Nebbiolo. These are well worth discovering. These are sold as either bianco or rosso Terre di Franciacorta DOC.
Lugana originates from the south of Lake Garda where both still and sparkling wines are made with the Trebbiano grape. A slight saltiness is typical of these wines, derived from the minerals in the soil here. The colour varies from pale greenish yellow when young to golden yellow after a few years maturing. The bouquet is fresh and pleasant, the taste is fresh, smooth, and dry, with good balance between acidity, body, and alcohol. Drink the sparkling wine as an aperitif and the still wine with freshwater fish. Drinking temperature is 46.4- 50°F (8-10°C) .
San Martino della Battaglia DOC
This area is less well-known but has much in common with Lugana (q.v.) in terms of climate and mineral soil. San Martino della Battaglia is made using Tocai Priulano (note: not Pinot Grigio but Welsch Riesling. The colour is lemon yellow and the nose is very inviting and intensely aromatic, while the taste is filled with flavour, dry, and with a slight bitterness in the finish. Drinking temperature is 10-12°C (50- 53.6°F). There is also a San Martino della Battaglia Liquoroso, which is much darker in colour (golden yellow) , very fruity and seductive.
The taste is filled with flavour, smooth, and pleasantly sweet. The wine is well balanced with minimum alcohol of 16%. Drinking temperature is 42.0- 50.0°F (6- 10°C) depending on personal preference.
Garda DOC wines are also made to the south of the lake, which falls within the province of Mantua (Mantova). These wines vary little from the other Garda wines. Single varietal wines include Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, Chardonnay, Tocai, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Pranc, and Merlot. Good frizzante wines are also produced here, usually with Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Colli Morenici Mantovani del Garda DOC is worth a special mention. This wine from the south of Lake Garda originates from the most favourably placed hills (Colli) above Mantua.
This wine is slightly better than the other Lake Garda wines. The basic grapes are Pinot Bianco and Garganega for the whites (bianco) and Rondinella, Rossanella, Negrara, Sangiovese, and Merlot for the roses and reds (rosato and rosso) . The vineyards of Lambrusco Mantovano DOC are south of Mantua. This wine contains quite high levels of carbonic acid created by fermentation. At least four different varieties of Lambrusco type grapes may be used in this wine, which can be supplemented with Ancellotta, Portana, or Uva d'Oro.
|The wine is ruby red in colour and tastes fresh and juicy. Both dry and sweet versions are available. Drinking temperature is 50-53.6°F (10-12°C). There is also a lighter rosato version of this wine.|