Franciacorta, Castel Faglia, Italy

Italian fizz rose from nowhere about 12 years ago when the prosecco boom began. Demand was huge for cheap fizz, and it was less harsh than Cava. The backlash began a few years ago in response to the acidic, insipid £6 stuff on sale – and it’s image as a drink to get you drunk. It was at this time I heard rumours, from an Italian on a WSET course with me at the London Wine School, that there was a good quality ‘champagne’ being made near Brescia. I was sceptical, but had tried some great fizz in Italy. But Franciacorta costs Champagne money – so it is a bit of a gamble…

Tasting notes:  A pale lemon colour. Initially some yeasty aromas. Dry. Fine persistent mousse. Flavours of apple, almond. Balanced acidity. Some complexity. A pleasant finish with some length. Good fizz. Made in the champagne method with 100% Chardonnay grapes – so a Blanc de Blanc.

Region of Origin – Lombardy
Wine Colour – White
Price – £15 (currently £11.25 with their 25% off deal)
Where do I get it from? Tesco
Current Vintage – NV
Producer – Castel Faglia
Grape – Chardonnay
Country – Italy

Verdict – Good wine and good value at the moment. Better value than many of the ‘value’ Champagnes on offer at this time of year, but still lacks the biscuity bite of a good bottle of the real thing.

Food matching – would go really well with canapes.

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