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Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta Brut

Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Italy
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Winemaker Notes

Oenology has many similarities with classical music. Ca' del Bosco, which is the leading producer of high quality sparklings (which might be compared to a great symphony) set out to create an "easy listening" product which, however, does not mean banal in order to attract new wine connoisseurs to Ca' del Bosco's world (alias classical music). Carefully selected grapes (chardonnay, pinot blanc and pinot noir) and intense care have been used in order to produce this Franciacorta. The result is a fresher, more fragrant product with a wide range of aromas. It also has a firm structure, rich attractive mousse and persistence.

Critical Acclaim

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Ca' del Bosco

Ca' del Bosco

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Ca' del Bosco, , Italy
Ca' del Bosco
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.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

HEI7662166_0 Item# 29288

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