CA DEL VENT - FRANCIACORTA STORY:
Silky… Soft…. Sensual…. Seductive… Sophisticated… Simple yet elegant… These words might describe one of those long sleek satin dresses or night gowns, worn by those gorgeous and sexy classic 1930’s and 1940’s actresses as they sipped bubbly, and enchanted movie audiences and the leading man. Or, they might describe the bubbly itself, especially if it’s this aptly named Franciacorta Brut SATEN (“satin”) from the Ca Del Vent winery.
If you love sparkling wines - Champagne from France, Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy, and other effervescent and sparkling wines from other countries - but haven’t heard of or tried Franciacorta, this might be understandable.
“Franciacorta” - this single word describes three things – the region, the wine, and the production method – just as the word “Champagne” does.
The Franciacorta region of Lombardy, in northern Italy, is only about one-tenth the size of the Champagne region in France, and its total annual output of all types of wines – reds, still whites and sparkling wine – is just 13 million bottles - only about 4% of Champagne’s annual production. Franciacorta is Italy’s finest sparkling wine – the best Franciacorta wines are on a par with the best Champagnes. These Franciacorta sparklers are produced using the traditional method, that is, with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle, (the term “methode champenoise” is only allowed to be used in Champagne), called “Franciacorta” here in Italy.
Think Champagne is the oldest sparkling wine? “Contrariamente” our Italian friend says. Effervescent wines have been known in Italy for almost 800 years, and if there had been bottles strong enough to withstand the pressures of secondary fermentation, Franciacorta might have arrived on the European market 100 years ahead of Champagne… but alas, Franciacorta vintners had to give up bubbly wine with the attendant exploding bottles, and focus on still wines instead. It was not the late 1950’s that a young wine maker with a love of history found an old book from the late 1500’s describing the bubbly wines of Franciacorta, and decided to try his hand at making a champagne-style wine. The first bottles were released for sale in 1961. The success of this first release changed the course of wine making in Franciacorta, and brought the world another great sparkling wine to light up celebrations and special occasions, and compliment the finest meals.
Love Chardonnay and champagne or sparkling wine that is made only from Chardonnay grapes (sometimes called blanc de blanc)? If so, Ca Del Vent Franciacorta SATEN is your kind of bubbly - 100% Chardonnay. As with all Franciacorta Saten wines, it is dry, “Brut”, with a bottle pressure of less than 5 atm, which gives the wine a lovely expression of softness.
We think this Ca Del Vent Franciacorta Saten might just be the perfect wine to serve for a special occasion when you want to invoke the aura of the sensual, romantic, sophisticated and elegant 1930’s and 1940’s … candlelight or firelight, soft music, crystal champagne flutes, flowers, dinner or just hors d’ourves… with or without that long satin dress / nightgown….
Who will you share this elegant wine with? And on what special occasion? DESCRIPTION:
The Ca Del Vent winery and vineyards sit high atop a hill in southern Franciacorta, Lombardy, an area known for exquisite wines and foods. It’s a small boutique winery, where art and wine come together in a unique and memorable way.
Like all Ca Del Vent wines, Ca Del Vent Franciacorta Brut Saten is literaly a hand-made artisan wine – no machines in the vineyards, all tending by hand. It is 100% chardonnay, with the grapes hand-selected.
The process that creates Ca Del Vent Franciacorta Saten is unique, and contributes to the elegant and rich character of this wine. Half of the wine that will make this Saten is aged for 6 months in stainless-steel vats to preserve the fresh, fruity and floral elements of the grapes; half is aged for 6 months in small oak casks for a rich creamy character. The wine is then transferred to bottles for the second fermentation. All riddling is done lovingly, by hand, over a one-month period. The wine rests 14 to 18 months on the yeasts. Then, after disgorgement, the wine is aged for an additional 6 months in the bottle.
If you are familiar with Prosecco, this is a very different sparkling wine – the taste is far more subtle and complex, the bubbles smaller, more plentiful, and more persistent. Prosecco is made from the Glera (formerly known as Prosecco) grape, and by a different process, fermented in vats rather than in the bottle, and aged only 4 to 5 months, so they are usually lighter and sweeter, designed for an informal party or aperitif. Franciacortas are, in contrast, aged even longer than most French Champagnes.
Store this wine in a dark place in a horizontal position in a humid environment. This wine is not meant to be aged, but enjoyed now, or within 2 to 3 years.
For serving, we recommend the classic technique of placing the bottle in a bucket of water and ice for about 30 minutes in order to bring the wine to the correct serving temperature of 40 to 46° F.
Serve this pale yellow gold gem in transparent crystal flute glasses to appreciate the beautiful mousse and perlage. TASTE:
Ca Del Vent Franciacorta Saten is truly a beautiful wine. It pours sunlit yellow into your crystal champagne flute, golden highlights glowing in the light. The bubbles rise, elegantly, sensually, very fine, and persistent, like hundreds of tiny diamonds or stars.
The aroma is intense and complex. There are floral notes of white and yellow flowers, scents of fruits – citrus, apple and banana, and spice – vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and anise, and hints of bread and toffee. Luscious….
And the taste – creamy, intense, full and rich, with the flavors echoing the nose. You may also taste peach and apricot, and perhaps some grapefruit, followed by melons, and almond. Its dry, of course, smooth, and well balanced, refined and elegant. Persistent on the palate. The bubbles are creamy, recalling the softness of silk from which comes the name “satèn”. FOOD MATCHING:
Ca Del Vent Franciacorta Brut Saten is a rich, elegant wine. Because Franciacorta is richer and fuller, as a rule, than Champagne, it is more versatile, and can be served with richer dishes that would overwhelm most Champagnes.
Soft and sensual, it is certainly the perfect aperitif, and excellent on its own, but like all Italian wines, it is meant to be served with food – from antipasti to desserts, and all the courses in between.
For antipasti, Saten compliments caponata, mild cheeses, foie gras, olives, oysters and smoked salmon.
We love it with seafood such as lobster with brawn butter, clams, scallops, and most light, white fish based dishes.
Try this Saten with lightly seasoned baked pasta or subtly flavored risottos, such as truffle or fresh mushroom, or saffron-scented risotto alla milanese , a specialty of Lombardy.
We think it pairs perfectly with vegetarian dishes of many kinds, especially those with fresh mushrooms.
For something different, and unexpected, yet delightful, try Saten with the Italian specialty Popetta di Carne Fritta (fried meatballs). Great on an hors d’oeuvre tray!