What’s your favourite wine from Franciacorta?
It’s a very large and famous area for sparkling wine production. There is something for all tastes.
Without doubt, Guido Berlucchi is one of my favourite wineries. It has written the history of Franciacorta! The cellar is so amazing and magical to see (put a visit on your bucket list).
If you are a zero dosage lover, you should certainly taste the Berlucchi ’61 Franciacorta Nature collection. You’ll be pleased! The lineup is composed of three vintage wines: Berlucchi ’61 Nature (first vintage, 2009), Berlucchi ’61 Nature Blanc de Blancs (first vintage, 2012), and Berlucchi ’61 Nature Rosé (first vintage, 2011).
Each wine has its unique story to tell which mainly depends on the vintage. Their individual stories are based on the relationship between both the ripening season and the approach of the winemaker in the cellar.
Vintage wine in Franciacorta has to spend at least 30 months on the lees in accordance with the disciplinary regulations, but Guido Berlucchi applies more time on the lees for its wines.
Vinitaly has always been a great event at which to taste the new vintages of Berlucchi ’61 Nature wines but unfortunately not this year due to COVID-19, as the international exhibition has understandably been postponed.
So, I’m here to give you a preview of Berlucchi ’61 Nature 2013, both Blanc de Blancs and Rosé.
Are you ready?
How was the 2013 vintage?
It has been a rainy and cold vintage, showing a few issues during fruit set.
Despite this slightly unpromising start the vineyards have been budding late in a very uniform way which meant a natural selection of the grapes and more concentration.
The ripening was long and uniform with high diurnal range.
The hand-harvesting took place between the end of August and the first half of September.
These factors are essential in order to ensure healthy grapes with delicate flavours and high acidity, showing the basic characteristics for high-quality sparkling wines production.
Berlucchi ’61 Nature Blanc de Blancs 2013
Blanc de Blancs simply means white wine from white grapes only, Chardonnay in this case.
The grapes come from the Arzelle vineyard (where the vines are around 20 years old), which grows on deep morainic soil.
After a soft pressing, the grapes follow white winemaking techniques. Then, at least five years on the lees for the second fermentation. But you have to wait another six months for bottle ageing before tasting a glass of Berlucchi ’61 Nature Blanc de Blancs 2013.
The wine takes on a pale lemon colour. On the nose, you can recognise the aromas of apple, lemon, biscuit, hazelnut, and dried apple. Its acidity is high, the alcohol is medium as well as body, the finish is long.
Berlucchi ’61 Nature Rosé 2013
It’s produced from only Pinot Noir grapes (the vines are around 20 years old), grown in the Corte Franca district. The vineyards are Ragnoli (fluvioglacial soil), Quindicipiò (morainic and shallow soil on medium hills), and Gaspa (morainic and shallow soil with gravel).
Initially, the grapes from these three vineyards follow different vinifications: white winemaking techniques for Ragnoli, rosé for Quindicipiò, and red for Gaspa. It’s a good way to enhance the complexity of the wine.
Then, they are blended and spend at least five years on the lees. Also Berlucchi ’61 Nature Rosé 2013, spends six months of bottle ageing before being released on the market.
The colour is a pale pink-orange. There are some pleasant aromas of wild strawberry, currant, orange, dried rose, and pastry. The taste has high acidity, medium alcohol, medium+ body, and a long finish. You can also perceive a low and smooth tannin.
Blanc de Blancs or Rosé?
It’s hard to make a decision because they represent two different styles. It depends on the occasion at which you want to open each wine.
But one thing is certain, the quality-level is high for both the wines.
Berlucchi ’61 Nature Blanc de Blancs 2013 is a very fine and elegant expression of Chardonnay from Franciacorta. You can open a bottle of this wine in several situations, like an aperitif with your friends, a gala dinner or Sunday lunch with your family. It’s better with seafood or white meats.
Instead, Berlucchi ’61 Nature Rosé 2013 is powerful and silky at the same time. Take this wine with your romantic dinner, a barbecue with friends or a pool party. It’s perfect with shellfish or grilled meats.
Now, you have all the info to make an informed selection. My suggestion is to choose several bottles for each type because they can only improve by the ageing in bottle.