Ca del Bosco Brut Cuvee Prestige Franciacorta NV


Current stock: 28

I remember meeting a certain young Barbaresco winemaker at an outdoor table in the Palazzo di Savona in Alba ‘for an aperitivo’ one afternoon many years only to have him walk out of the bar carrying a double magnum of Ca’ del Bosco’s absolutely ravishing Franciacorta Brut Prestige.  He laughed when I asked him exactly how many aperitivos we were actually planning to enjoy and said that he wanted to introduce me to some other winemakers that would be passing by, and the best way to attract them was by having one of these sitting open in an ice bucket.  True to his word, within a half hour our little table had become four tables full of happy people, all in the wine biz, and our little aperitivo had become a full-fledged party. It is well-known that the Piemontese are the largest consumers of sparkling wine in Italy, and just about every tasting I’ve ever attended there ends with a bottle of bubbles to neutralize the effects of the tannic, acidic Nebbiolo. it has to be Ca’del Bosco.  And he’s not alone in that assessment. The Brut Prestige appears on just about every fine wine list and in most every winemaker’s cellar in the region.  It drinks with just about any bottle of Champers and still costs a lot less.  One of the first truly ‘serious’ sparkling wines made in Italy, this benchmark cuvee is made from 79.5% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Bianco and 1.5% Pinot Nero from the Franciacorta region of Lombardy.  Aged 28 months on its lees with between 20 and 30% reserve still wine added, it’s finished with a miniscule 1.5 grams per liter sugar making it a bone dry but beautifully textured bottle of bubbles with a  fine mousse and a nose that brings forth notes of baking pastry, Asian pear, dry honey, preserved lemon and clove-y spice.  Creamy and complex, yet very clean and bright, it’s a fabulous sparkling wine whose dryness makes it a magnificent food wine but, as proven in the Palazzo di Savona, it’ll also attract a crowd more interested in potato chips and pretzels than the roast chicken or whole fish you were contemplating.  This is truly Champagne-like sophistication with an Italian personality.  The other thing about this cuvee is that it has the reputation of cellaring extraordinary well.  If you lose a few bottles in the back of your cellar for a few years, you’ll be very pleased with the results!  Very highly recommended.