A producer of premium Italian sparkling wines commits to aging wines
The endless, festively decorated convention booths where various Italian wines were poured had tons of laughs and loud conversations emanating from them, bringing an electricity that created a magical new world for a five-year-old girl. It was 1974 and she was there with her brother and mother at a wine fair called Vinitaly in the romantic city of Verona, located in the Veneto region of Italy; this was the seventh year that Vinitaly presented the fantastic range of Italian wines to international wine buyers and journalists. Although this little girl came from her own magical world in the province of Brescia, which is in the northwestern Italian region of Lombardy, she was not used to such liveliness as she lived nestled in the countryside. surrounded by her family’s vineyards and she had never experienced such frenzied energy; it seemed like she was experiencing the best of both worlds as she was transported to the olden days when she played in her family’s 16e century-old stone wine cellar, counterbalanced by the excitement of seeing his mother present her traditional sparkling wines to the rest of Italy and possibly the world.
This young girl grew up to be Lucia Barzanò and she would eventually work alongside her brother Giulio, the winemaker of their family cellar, to continue their mother’s mission when it comes to making some of the greatest sparkling wines. traditional world. which are intended for long-term aging of the designated high-quality appellation of Franciacorta DOCG.
Mosnel Franciacorta wines
The name Franciacorta is known among many Italian wine drinkers as one of the best sparkling wines and Lucia says that often when Italians want great sparkling wine when they go to a good restaurant in Milan or Rome they specifically ask Franciacorta by Name. The maternal side of Lucia’s family is in what is now considered the Franciacorta wine region, one of the best sparkling Italian appellations, since 1836 and Lucia with her brother are 5e generation of winegrowers at the head of their Mosnel family estate.
Lucia’s mother, Emanuela Barzanò Barboglio, played an important role in establishing what Franciacorta is today, as she was one of 11 producers to achieve high quality DOC status for wines from Franciacorta, then she was part of the lobbying process. to receive the status of the highest quality only for their sparkling wines with DOCG which was awarded in 1995. Today Lucia, together with her brother Giulio, continue the few principles that their mother established: decent percentage of Pinot Blanc ( Pinot Bianco in Italian), low sugar content and longevity of the wines.
As Lucia likes to point out, the Franciacorta has a multitude of deep meanings for Italians as it is part of the culture of the region as sparkling wines have been produced there since the 16th.e century and on a personal note, his mother’s family has been making these wines for nearly 200 years. today translates into Italy representing 80% of Mosnel’s sales. The Franciacorta method is similar to the Champagne method because it goes through its second fermentation in the bottle and then it spends several months in this same bottle to age on the lees (sediment left after fermentation which adds complexity) but for Champagne, the minimum for Non- The vintage is 15 months of aging on lees where Franciacorta imposes a minimum of 18 months – Mosnel goes even further with a minimum of 24 months; both regions use Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (Pinot Nero in Italian) for the majority of the blend, but Franciacorta allows the use of Pinot Blanc. And Pinot Blanc is an important aspect of the Mosnel style as it gives fuller body which aids in long term aging as well as lovely floral aromas when properly grown.
Today Mosnel has nearly 100 acres of organically grown vineyards and the compound from their estate vineyards is broken down into 70% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Blanc, only the vineyards on their estate. being used for their wines. They are one of the few wineries to use such a high percentage of Pinot Blanc and so this is one of the reasons it sets Mosnel apart from many other Franciacorta producers. But as climate change makes summers hotter, Lucia and her brother looked for other ways to retain the fierce acidity that is preferred for these premium sparkling wines and they found the “old local variety” called Erbamat. as a possibility for the future as it has higher acidity levels.
Part of the incredible aging ability of Mosnel Franciacorta sparkling wines is due to some of the wines fermenting and aging in small used French oak barrels as well as the low sugar content of the entire Mosnel wine range. As in Champagne, when the wines are disgorged to remove the sediment from the lees after a certain aging time, a small quantity of wine must be added to take up the volume removed with the sediment and at this time the sugar (alias dosage) is also added. The sugar counterbalances the strong acidity of Champagne wines as well as Franciacorta wines several times but Mosnel will have, for example, only four grams of sugar per liter in their Brut, which represents less than half of the average dosage of Brut. . Champagne. In fact, Mosnel currently has five different bottlings of Franciacorta with no added sugar that range from a Brut Nature to a handful of different Vintage Franciacorta to a Riserva that ages ten years on lees as the wines are already balanced without any added sugar.
According to Lucia, they believe that the low dosage, if at all, helps make their wines better for aging; the last thing that makes their wines worthy of aging is the use of reserve wines added to the blend of about ten years on average, giving more depth and concentration to the final blend.
Built to last
It was such a special education for Lucia because from an early age she saw her mother change an industry by showing Italy that she was capable of making great sparkling wines. And Lucia could not be prouder than to follow in her mother’s footsteps and to work with her brother whom she is always ready to boast of being one of the most talented winemakers she knows; his pride is even deeper with his two daughters working at Mosnel becoming the 6e generation. At one time it was impossible to make Italians in fine dining restaurants in Italy drink any other bubble than champagne, but Lucia’s mother managed to make Franciacorta a household name. Of course, there is still that bridge to cross in the American market because, for many Americans, even eating in Italian restaurants, the name Franciacorta means very little; so for now Mosnel is being sold as a small family production, a premium Italian sparkling wine, grown at the estate and which seems to be getting a lot more attention. But just like her mother, Lucia is happy to take up the challenge and she will not give up the idea that one day Franciacorta will have the same deep meaning as in her home country.
Mosnel, Brut Nature, Franciacorta DOCG, Lombardy, Italy: 70% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Blanc and 10% Pinot Noir. No dosage. Saline minerality, chamomile and lemon zest on the nose with fine bubbles and intense minerality with lively acidity.
Mosnel, Brut, Franciacorta DOCG, Lombardy, Italy: 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Blanc and 10% Pinot Noir. Dosage of 4 grams per liter. The Brut has more weight, more flavor with a juicy nectarine and more of a base note of minerality that is not as intense in nature with a nice expressive finish of toasted almonds.
Mosnel, Brut Rosé, Franciacorta DOCG, Lombardy, Italy: 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Blanc. Dosage of 5 grams per liter. Fresh strawberries with a warm raspberry and stony minerality, elegant with pristine fruit flavors and fantastic freshness – get you to give good fruit intensity but don’t go overboard keeping a lot of acidity and minerality in play .