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In Franciacorta, Italy’s most prestigious region for traditional-method sparklers, Ca’ del Bosco has long been a standard-bearer. This pioneering producer has been known to push the envelope, from creating its own exacting standards of production to becoming the leader in high-quality, complex multi-vintage Franciacorta wines.
Now, Ca’ del Bosco is achieving a new level of quality and transparency for Franciacorta with its flagship cuvée. The signature Cuvée Prestige will now be known as Cuvée Prestige Edizione, a wine that speaks of the territory, attention to detail, sourcing, and transparency.
The Zanella family established Ca’ del Bosco in the 1960s and worked throughout the next decades to study Champagne production and adapt the traditional method for Italy’s version: metodo classico. It became one of Franciacorta’s first producers to focus on high-quality multi-vintage wines in 1976 under the Franciacorta Pinot label, so indeed, multi-vintage winemaking is part of Ca’ del Bosco’s DNA.
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Under the watch of the Bordeaux-educated Maurizio Zanella and winemaker Stefano Capelli, a mainstay of the winery for 33 years, Ca’ del Bosco has created its own unique stamp on sparkling wine. They’ve created their “metodo Ca’ del Bosco,” a ramped-up version of the already-strict regulations for Franciacorta production, which has been fine-tuned over the years.
“The cleaner the grapes, the purer the wine,” according to Zanella, so the winery created a proprietary “berry spa” in 2008, a facility that bunch-washes the carefully selected grapes and “bathes” them in three soaking vats. The environment is controlled throughout the process—from the gentle oxygen-free crush to gravity-fed transfer, small-vessel fermentation, and the judicious use of oak.
The result of this exacting detail is Ca’ del Bosco’s signature wine, the multi-vintage Cuvée Prestige, first made in 2005 from 114 plots of grapes. Unique in its high proportions of reserve wine, it features a complex and layered flavor profile.
In the past, Zanella says, blending reserve wines was “considered a ‘lifeboat’” in underperforming years, but is now a more thoughtful approach to “add more value to the wine from a library of the best of the previous vintages.”
With the release of Cuvée Prestige Edizione, nothing is changing about the actual crafting of Cuvée Prestige; instead, the bottle will simply bring more transparency to the table, telling a piece of the estate’s story, as well as the relationship between nature and the winemaker for that year.
Zanella looked to some of France’s notable houses for inspiration, “not as a copy but for the philosophy of giving each edition a number so the consumer can recognize the difference between one edition to the other, and we have the opportunity to discuss the different tastes and styles depending on the composition. Each interpretation is a different recipe.”
For Edizione 43—the 43rd interpretation of Cuvée Prestige—163 wines from 189 vineyard plots (aged 20 to 30 years old, some of which are among the highest in Franciacorta) from three vintages (81 percent from vintage 2018, 7 percent from reserve wines of 2017, and 12 percent from reserve wines of 2016). Edizione 43 is driven by Chardonnay (84 percent), followed by Pinot Nero (14 percent), and the Pinot Bianco (2 percent).
Cuvée Prestige Edizione spends at least 24 months on the lees, a full six months longer than required for non-vintage Franciacorta. With only one gram per liter of residual sugar in the dosage, the wine is extra brut, and finishes dry, clean, and elegant. Like the preceding steps in the process, disgorgement is performed with strict attention to an oxygen-free environment, guaranteeing the wine’s freshness. The ultimate in traceability is a unique identifier that marks each bottle and notes the exact grape proportions, vineyards, and vintages in each blend.
Straw yellow in color, Edizione 43 is redolent of delicate white flowers and almond essence. The palate expresses lovely fruit—white pear, apple, and white peach. This is an excellent aperitif wine or one to pair with richer fish dishes or fresh cheeses.
Cuvée Prestige Edizione 43 is slated to enter the U.S. market in mid to late July with an SRP of $40.