N.V. Vigna Dorata, Brut Sparkling Wine, Franciacorta DOCG, Lombardy, Italy.
The elegant and luxurious Vigna Dorata Franciacorta D.O.C.G. Brut is made from a mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) in the classic Champagne method with close to 24 months of lees aging that gives this sparkling wine its elegance and beautiful layering with hints of toasty brioche and hazelnut that nicely supports the racy and crisp citrus and apple fruit on the medium bodied palate. This is great alternative to pricey grower producer Champagne for any occasion drinking and or celebrations, it is high quality and can be enjoyed with a meal or just as a sipping bubbly. I really enjoyed this latest bottling, it gains complexity in fruit, with citrus, apple and quince coming alive and mineral tones as it opens up and the mousse is very fine and the beading in the glass is energetic, making for a sophisticated and pleasing sparkler. Franciacorta located in the Brescia province, in Lambardy region of Italy and set in the hills immediately south-east of Lake Iseo is renown for exceptional sparkling wines, with great stuff like Ca’ del Bosco and others being stellar examples of what can be made here. The first official Franciacorta sparkling wine was produced here in 1961, but has gained its outstanding reputation in more recent times, especially in the last decade or so. This was my first time sampling Vigna Dorata and I very much enjoyed this Brut, it also held up well with a wide range of appetizers and I can see it going great with festive holiday dinners.

Coming from their family vineyards that were planted in the 1980s, the The Vigna Dorata label came to life and was created in 1995 when the winery’s first bottle with secondary fermentation was produced here in Franciacorta, where some of the best Italian sparkling wines are made in the classic Champagne style and from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. The estate is located on an alluvial moraine soils of ancient origin which is extremely sandy with vineyards in the foothills that were formed from glaciers and situated with a good sunny exposure to full ripen the grapes here in the shadow of the Italian Alps. The Vigna Dorata Brut saw soft pressing of whole grapes by a gentle pneumatic press before its first fermentation that, as the winery notes, takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperture after the addition of selected yeasts. A low dosage is employed and the Vigna Dorata feels very dry in the mouth, it is a wine that has an ability to appeal to a wide audience with its generous decadence. There plenty of style options in Franciacorta, an area that is home to over 100 wineries that produce sparkling wines in the metodo classico, making them as mentioned, a more affordable alternative to high end French Champagne. Most of the wines here, like these of Vigna Dorata bottlings, are very dry, but there is also the luscious Satèn style, made exclusively in this region, and is comparable to French Crémant with the name paying a tribute to Italian silk, plus there is Zero (no dosage) and Brut Nature as well as Rosé, giving sparkling enthusiasts plenty of choices.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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