Our Observations 2017
Generally, the wines were more consistent in quality from type to type and
from producer to producer than the wines in our tasting in 2012, as suggested
by our high level of recommendations.
The wines also displayed more freshness of fruit, more subtlety (even elegance)
in aroma/flavor, and more character than those tasted five years ago. They were
also drier, crisper, and better balanced. In short, it was a group of excellent—
even outstanding—wines.
Why? Vines are older. Vintners have more experience—and more confidence.
Harvesting decisions (for vineyard parcels and varieties) are more precise—and
alcohol levels have fallen in the finished wines: in 2012, 29% of the wines tasted
had alcohol levels of 13% or more; this year, with 25% more wines tasted, only
2% had alcohol levels of 13%, or higher!
We found the wines recommended here to be much more exciting overall
than those from our 2012 tasting, with higher ‘high points’, suggesting that
Franciacorta’s ‘personality’ and true potential are finally being revealed by a
larger pool of wine producers, who have gone beyond emulating Champagne
and are consciously encouraging their wines ‘to speak Franciacorta’.