Friday, August 6, 2021

A Taste of Franciacorta with Ca' Del Bosco

Sometimes I attend wine tastings and select my favorite wines to share and I completely forget to get to all of them to share with my readers.  Today is the perfect opportunity to share one from the Franciacorta DOCG since our Italian Food, Wine and Travel group (#ItalianFWT) this month is featuring Lombardy wines hosted by Jeff at FoodWineClick.   

The Region ~ Franciacorta 

The Franciacorta sub-region is located in the Lombardy region of northern Italy within the province of Brescia.  Franciacorta is one the most prestigious, if not the most prestigious, producers of sparkling wines in Italy.  The name stems from the Latin word, franchae curtes, meaning the properties that were free from tax during the Middle Ages.  This area is located nearby to Lake Iseo in the south along with the rivers, Oglio and Mella.  The soil there is morainic from ancient glaciers resulting in mineral rich soil.  The area is protected from the cold north by the Alps and moderated by Lake Iseo.   

Franciacorta was originally awarded a DOC in 1967 until it was further elevated to DOCG status in 1995.  The red and white wines that originally fell under the Franciacorta DOC changed names to the CurtaFranca DOC to be segregated from the Franciacorta name that was now to be associated with sparkling wines.   

Franciacorta wine region of Lombardy
Franciacorta region, copyright of Ca' del Bosco

The Winery ~ Ca’ del Bosco 

At the tasting I had the opportunity to hear from the owner of Ca’ del Bosco, Maurizio Zanella.   Maurizio’s mother, AnnaMaria Clementi, founded the winery in 1969 when she moved to Erbusco.  She purchased a small house, named “Ca’ del Bosc”, on about 5 acres of land in an area surrounded by woods.  The name is probably derived from the Italian word, bosca, meaning forest.  At least I can feel like my years of Italian language studying have paid off.  The vineyards were first planted when she bought the estate and maintained by Antonio Gandossi from the very beginning until his passing in 2011.   

Maurizio at a young age was inspired by the environment surrounding him along with a trip that he took to the Champagne wine region.  His “quest for excellence” is demonstrated in the wines he produces today.  They have been certified organic since 2014 and are always striving to produce the highest quality with respect for the land.  In 2004 Ca’ del Bosco patented a new bottling line and “zero oxygen” degorging lines that removes the oxidative stress from the wine production and requires less of a need for added sulfites.   

The Wine 

Maurizio presented at the tasting their 2008 Ca’ del Bosco Cuvee Annamaria Clementi Franciacorta Riserva DOCG.  Quite the privledge to taste this beauty if you ask me.  The wine is named after his mother, Annamaria.  It is comprised of 55% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Bianco and 20% Pinot Nero grapes.  They select only the best grapes from their cru vineyards and only in the best vintages.  This is the best of the best!   

The 2008 vintage was the first vintage made without added dosage.  Ca’ del Bosco has been producing the Annamaria Clementi wines since 1989.  The grapes are harvested, chilled and grapes are selected out before they go into soaking vats.  They are then crushed with fermentation taking place in small oak casks.  The wine is aged in oak for 6 months with 6 months on the lees plus 9 years in the bottle.  Yes, you read that right, 9 years!  Riserva wines under the Franciacorta DOCG require at least 60 months of aging. 

The2008 Ca’ del Bosco Annamaria Clementi Franciacrota Riserva was quite layered with much depth and structure.  Stone fruits were present on the nose with yeasty aromas.  Real nice green apple fruit on the palate with a creamy texture, probably due to the lees.  Persistent bubbles with minerality showing up on the finish.  ABV 12.5% SRP $100  

2008 Ca’ del Bosco Cuvee Annamaria Clementi Franciacorta Riserva DOCG
Copyright of Ca' del Bosco, but doesn't capture the 2008 vintage I tasted

Ca’ del Bosco is one of the mostly highly awarded winners of the Tre Bicchieri in Italy with over 40 awards.  Don’t just take it from me, experience for yourself not only Ca’ del Bosco, but the wines of the Franciacorta.  If you’re a Champagne lover or lover of sparkling wines  you will be in for quite the treat.   

Join my fellow Italian wine and food lovers as they take you the Lombardia wine region.  Please join us live for a Twitter chat this Saturday @ 11am EST at #ItalianFWT. 


  1. Sounds like they might give Champagne a run for their money. I'm not a huge sparkling wine fan but I am curious to try this after reading your and Jeff's posts.

  2. Franciocorta will always have its storied history behind them! And compared to Champagne, the ageing requirements are much longer, which many don't know that! Amazing that you got to taste the vintage wine too Jen!

  3. Maurizio’s mother was a great woman for founding the winery! I truly think some Franciacorta rivals Champagne. Maybe we’ll have a month dedicated to it next year.