FRANCIACORTA IS NOT CHAMPAGNE
SO WHAT’S DIFFERENT?
Weather. Champagne is plagued with terrible weather. Cold, rainy & shorter windows of sunshine. Grapes ripen slowly, hence wines show far more acidity. Franciacorta with its Mediterranean climate, faces sultry summers that causes grapes to ripen quickly. End result - you have wines that show much more ripe fruit, white flowers and lower acidity compared to Champagne.
This is the challenge to the winemaker, Acidity.
Soil. Champagne region was once submerged underwater water - providing largely chalk, marl & limestone- which gives the mineralic qualities to the wines (you get the smell of wet rocks from the wine, and texture on the tongue is like licking a garden pebble). Franciacorta is morainic soil, also limestone, but chalk is absent. I experience less often minerality, but when you do, its graphite
Winemaking - Franciacorta is required to spend much more time on the lees than Champagne. Also, due to important acidity levels, Franciacorta very rarely goes through malolactic fermentation
Most importantly - the drinking experience
Due to warmer weather, Franciacorta expresses far more ripe stone fruit. On the nose, you find white flower (almost always), citrus fruits, honey & white musk. From the long lees (yeast) aging, plenty of almonds, bread & yeast.
Champagne, we don’t often come across that consistently high level of ripeness & white flower as stock standard. The acid in champagne give a huge backbone to the wine, creating extensive length to the finish, mostly.
I enjoy both wines, in their own right. IMO, my Champagane experiences are always hi-fidelity.- never fails to be rewarding & exciting, though young Champagnes can sometimes be austere.
Franciacorta, due to generosity & ripeness, is a little heavier footed, but approachable.
I prefer Franciacortas with Pinot Noir a bit more structure, shoulders to hold the ground.
Agree or disagree? Comment!
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