2004 Tenuta Castelveder Franciacorta Brut (Previously $32.99)

SKU #1059151

It is not widely known that Franciacorta shares much in common with Champagne. First, it is made by a combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes (and possibly some Pinot Blanc), and it is re-fermented in the bottle, which creates the bubbles. And like Champagne, it is insanely tasty. It is, unlikely lots of Champagnes, also a steal. This is traditional Franciacorta, made by a quality conscious producer, and it is great with food or without. Dry, appropriately bubbly and very addictive.

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Price: $14.99
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By: Sonny G | Review Date: 11/4/2010
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Clear, day bright, darker than lemon yellow, but lighter than straw (I'd have to consult a box of crayolas to pinpoint what color this wine is exactly)...The nose is the best part...lovely citrus (lemon and orange) with some toasty notes along with a wet stone minerality...

The palate is extremely dry and mineraly...some grapefruit and sour apple notes, a very present bitter chinotto note, a bit of persimmon, and something slightly minty...but unfortunately the acidity of this wine steals center stage and really detracts from the whole experience...bubbles are plentiful, but on the large side and do little to mask the wince inducing acidity...

The finish is minerally with notes of blood orange/chinotto, a hint of toasty macaroon, and a strange metallic note that once again detracts from the whole experience...

This wine is barely on this side of "drinkable" as it is...but it does have a certain complexity that might contribute nicely to a "champagne" cocktail or another sweet sparkling wine concoction where a sugary additive might cut the acidity and let the pleasant citrus flavors of this wine show a bit more...

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, M√Ęcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.