VIGNETI CENCI, FRANCIACORTA BRUT, 'LA CAPINERA' & 'LA VIA DELLA SETA
Psst ... I want to let you in on a little secret:
Most wine-loving Italians don't actually drink Prosecco. When they want a crisp sparkling wine, they tend to reach for a rosè from Franciacorta.
Remarkably, most of these wines stay in Italy. Yes, even after Barone Pizzini's Franciacorta Rosé was named the best organic wine in the world at the International Wine Challenge, in 2012. And even with the seal of approval from Tom Stevenson, the esteemed British wine critic and author of Champagne, who has deemed them to be "world class."
If you have ever had the particular pleasure of sipping these gorgeous, lightly effervescent wines over an afternoon, you will know what a real loss that is for us here in the U.S.
Fortunately, our savvy buyers were able to secure a small allocation of three Franciacorta sparklers, all Bruts. This is a terrific opportunity to stock up on complex, age-worthy sparkling wine that rivals vintage Champagne, and at a third of the price of what you'd pay for a first-rate bottle. And we're offering each of these for less than $35 a bottle — a spectacular value.
One thing to keep in mind when you consider the wines of the Franciacorta is that production methods in this tiny pocket at the southern end of Lombardy have changed not at all from the way things were done in the distant past, and that output is kept to a minimum to ensure the highest quality.
Music to our ears, and no doubt yours, too.
First up: the La Capinera Brut. The grapes — 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Bianco — are sourced from a vineyard located on the slope of Monte Orfano, whose rich, colluvial soil is mixed with gravel, making it ideal for producing wines of complexity and elegance. The wines are fermented twice, with ageing on the lees for at least 24 months. In the glass, its pale golden appearance prepares you for what is to come — a burst of orange and lemon, which then gives way to more clearly defined aromas, like moss, pennyroyal and thyme. On the palate, this proves itself to be a well-integrated wine, one whose freshness and crispness are balanced by a drinkable softness and depth.
The Rosè Brut is made from 100% Pinot Nero grapes, which, after the first temperature-controlled fermentation, are macerated on their skins for a maximum of 24 hours. They're then re-fermented in the bottle, with aging on the lees for at least 36 months. The nose is intensely lush, with notes of blackberry, red currant, cherry and morello. Its rather weighty appearance notwithstanding, this is a surprisingly light, fresh, and linear wine, aéd wonderfully delicate with its fruit.
Decanter raved about it, awarding 95 points and writing: "The palate is rich and expressive with intense notes of brioche, red currants, rose petals and strawberries. A very rich style with a long finish. Ideal for shellfish and paella." It also took home a prestigious Gold at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Last but not least, we have the La Via della Seta Cuvée Satèn Brut, which differs from the two Bruts in important, and fascinating, ways. Its grapes — 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Bianco — were grown in the same rich, colluvial soil mixed with gravel, fermented twice, and aged on the lees for at least 30 months. This is a wine of immense sophistication that will frankly stun anyone who looks at the bottle price. On the nose, you'll be treated to a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. On the palate, the fruit — particularly the notes of apricot and nectarine — are controlled, with any lingering ripeness or sweetness undercut by the welcome presence of nettles and a subtle, persistent acidity that refreshes the palate with every sip.
As I said up top, Franciacorta wines are exceedingly hard to come by, and if you love your bubbles this is an incredibly rare opportunity to load up now for all those special occasions down the road ... and for all those warmer months (please please please) on the porch or at the beach.
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Summer 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Sunday, Thursday, February 20, 2022.