Ferghettina Franciacorta Milledi Brut 2015
Pair with Red Mullet with a light tomato sauce, vegetarian lasagna, lobster au gratin, and sun dried tomatoes risotto with scallops.
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.
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.