Our Score: 92
Barone Pizzini was one of the first farmers in Franciacorta to transition to biodynamic agricultural practices—and the results are great. His Rosé Extra Brut has a higher percentage of Pinot Noir than is usually used in a Franciacorta rosé, making it a bit more tannic and complex. On the nose, a raspberry note comes before citrus, then wet white stone, the brioche of the yeasts, and red flowers. On the palate, it is smoother than expected, harmonious and elegant.
Grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Pairing: As with Champagne, Franciacorta Rosé can be enjoyed from aperitif to dessert. I like it a lot with risotto, taleggio cheese and radicchio, or with quail. Great also with tuna, or salmon steaks.
Appellation: Franciacorta DOCG, Italy
Franciacorta DOCG is one of two wine regions in Italy—the other being Trento DOC—producing sparkling wines with the same method used in the Champagne region. The similarities are: same grapes (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, plus possibly some Pinot Bianco and Pinot Meunier); same fermentation (the first fermentation in large tanks, and the second in the bottle); and very similar soil and micro-climate as well.
The result is a product similar to Champagne, with the ability and experience of each winemaker determining the rest. In general terms, Franciacorta DOCG and Trento DOC cost a good 15-35% less than a comparable Champagne. But as in many of the great appellations, there are important differences of style and quality among the many producers that belong to the appellation.