Ferghettina Franciacorta Cuvee Brut
Very good as aperitif or paired with linguine with shrimp, fried mussels, grilled squid, shrimp, fried fish and pizza.
Roberto has always been a man of the land. In 1990, he began to give an elderly family friend a helping hand on the weekends: the woman owned a tiny winery and after her husband’s death, had a hard time dealing with the details of production. At the time, she sold the grapes in bulk, but she was so impressed she offered to sell Roberto the winery and adjacent three hectares (7.4 acres) under vine, as she was convinced production would shine in Roberto’s hands.
The year was 1991: Gatti left his former employer and struck out on his own – Ferghettina was born, named after the winery location. For the first time, production was bottled under the Ferghettina label, and Roberto released his first Franciacorta Brut in 1992.
Ferghettina grew step by step. After a lifetime in the vineyards, Roberto knew the best fruit ripens gradually. Roberto’s knowledge helped to build his reputation in the region, allowing his to take over new plots on long leases (20-25 years), which he replanted to the strictest standards, eventually running a total of 180 hectares (445 acres) under vine, split into nine Franciacorta districts.
Ferghettina focuses their investments in top-quality equipment and vineyard management. One of these investments included a state-of-the-art, 64,600-square-foot new winery at Adro (again, slightly northwest of Erbusco), designed by Laura’s architect husband. Though built from 2002 to 2005, it is perfectly integrated into the landscape: a traditional farmhouse made of timeless-looking bricks and stones, it embraces a gently sloping hill within sight of Lake Iseo (a.k.a. Lake Sebino).
Containing an exciting mix of wine producing subregions, Lombardy is Italy’s largest in size and population. Good quality Pinot noir, Bonarda and Barbera have elevated the reputation of the plains of Oltrepò Pavese. To its northeast in the Alps, Valtellina is the source of Italy’s best Nebbiolo wines outside of Piedmont. Often missed in the shadow of Prosecco, Franciacorta produces collectively Italy’s best Champagne style wines, and for the fun and less serious bubbly, find Lambrusco Mantovano around the city of Mantua. Lugana, a dry white with a devoted following, is produced to the southwest of Lake Garda.
A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.
There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.