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Ca' del Bosco Curtefranca Rosso 1999

Other Red Blends from Piedmont, Italy
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    Ca' del Bosco

    Ca' del Bosco

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    Ca' del Bosco, Piedmont, Italy
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    Ca' del Bosco is on the leading edge of the exciting new wave of Italian wine producers, making absolutely top-quality sparkling and still wines. Maurizio Zanella founded the winery in 1968, and dedicated himself to distinguishing the sparkling wines of Franciacorta. The winery owns more than 230 acres in the region, with vineyards planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Nero and other indigenous Franciacorta grapes. Ca' del Bosco's reputation for sparkling wines has been secured by the excellence of its cuvées.

    Situated among the gentle hills of Brescia, south of Lake Iseo, the Franciacorta region of Lombardy and its neighboring towns were historically better known for their production of firearms than wine. Maurizio Zanella has changed all of that and his talents have placed Franciacorta on the map of quality Italian wine regions. Zanella has worked to ensure the word "Franciacorta" would indicate a specific type of sparkling wine from a specific region, and would not be confused with "methode champenoise" or "spumante." In 1995, his dream came true and the sparkling wine of Franciacorta was named a D.O.C.G. to be marketed as "Franciacorta." Since the new D.O.C.G. standards require a minimum of two years aging before release, the first Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta D.O.C.G. were released to the international market in 1997.

    Piedmont

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    Set upon a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, the enchanting and rolling hills of Piedmont are the source of some of the country’s longest-lived and most sought-after wines. Vineyards cover a great majority of the land area—especially in Barolo—with the most prized sites at the top hilltops or on south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. Piedmont has a continental climate with hot, humid summers leading to cold winters and precipitation year-round. The reliable autumnal fog provides a cooling effect, especially beneficial for Nebbiolo, Piedmont’s most prestigious variety.

    In fact, Nebbiolo is named exactly for the arrival of this pre-harvest fog (called “nebbia” in Italian), which prolongs cluster hang time and allows full phenolic balance and ripeness. Harvest of Nebbiolo is last among Piedmont's varieties, occurring sometime in October. This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure; the best examples can require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. Across the Tanaro River, the Roero region, and farther north, the regions of Gattinara and Ghemme, also produce excellent quality Nebbiolo.

    Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin and juicy red fruit. Dolcetto, Piedmont’s other important red grape, is usually ready within a couple of years of release.

    White wines, while less ubiquitous here, should not be missed. Key varieties include Arneis, Cortese, Timorasso, Erbaluce and the sweet, charming Muscat, responsible for the brilliantly recognizable, Moscato d'Asti.

    Other Red Blends

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    With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

    ULL67250_1999 Item# 79737