(2015) Another 100% Chardonnay wine that spent 36 months on the lees, the dosage is also similar at 7.5g/l and the alcohol is again 12.5%. A small, family-owned company founded 1998, Franca Contea's 2009 is yeasty and toasty, more developed than the 2011 Ferghettina understandably, with a touch of bruised apple and rotted orange, that's much more attractive than it sounds. Nice mineral inflections on the palate, sour apples but really lemony and racy in the finish.Le Langhe of York was listed as a stockist.
(2015) From a young estate founded only in 2010, this zero dosage wine is made in stainless steel and blends 75% Chardonnay with 25% Pinot Noir, aged 24 months on the lees and with 12.5% alcohol. It is in a dry, lightly yeasty green apple style, though there is oatmeal and a nutty, almond background. Delicious, mouth-filling on the palate, the mousse quite rich and not at all austere. Bright and lemony, there is a sherbet brightness but a pleasing herb and nutty sheen of softness too.
(2014) A wine I have recommended in the past, but the price has actually come down so worth another taste and another look at an example of the increasingly popular Franciacorta. A blend is 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Blanc and 10% Pinot Noir, with a proportion of the Chardonnay fermented in oak. The nose is fruity and fresh, with bruised orchard fruits and a gentle yeastiness from 18 months on the lees. The mousse is fine and crisp, and the palate elegantly racy, clean and citrussy. It's a wine of clean lines and appetising freshness.
(2014) All Chardonnay, "From a more structured, stony soil." 24 months ageing and 7g/l dosage. Again that soft, delicate flower and stone fruit ripeness. The palate has a more harmonious feel. The lower dosage does have a fresh, clean, zest freshness, with a nice balance of sweet fruit and clean acidity.
(2014) All Chardonnay with 6g/l dosage and 12.5% alcohol, though Joska Biondelli tells me some parcels can come in at 14% potential alcohol. Quite a leesy, rich, autolysis nose, with pure apple fruit, seems quite fat and has an orangey character. It has a sense of roundness and meaty power, with the palate displaying a toasty richness and real suggestion of sweetness, with such a full, mouth-filling mid-palate and a cushion of full, creamy mousse that all comes together in to a fine, balanced, juicy but tremendously fresh finish with a touch of salty minerality. Delicious power and sweet-fruited appeal, though the combination of ripeness and that touch of dosage means it is not quite as fresh in finish, without quite having the élan of the SatÃ¨n.
(2014) All Chardonnay, 28 months in bottle with 7 or 8g/l dosage. Has a little more apple and bruised fruit quality, a slightly less clean and expressive nose in some ways, a slightly baked quality, but the sweetness of the palate is perceptible, I guess due to lower acidity here. Juicy and very easy to drink, citrus and orchard fruits, but with nice acidity leaving the finish fresh.
(2014) The blend is Chardonnay 78%, Pinot Nero 18%, Pinot Bianco 4%, with a dosage of 6.8g/l. Very fresh and refreshing nose, with lovely creaminess and soft, quite biscuity autolysis. Silvano says 25% of the blend is reserve wines back to 2008, on 2010 base. Really attractive palate, so fresh and appetising, but beautifully creamy fruit of custardy apple and a lovely line and tangy citrus to the finish. Delightful.
(2014) 2006 vintage, disgorged in 2014. No dosage, "The truest expression of the terroir." All Chardonnay, part fermented in oak. The yeastiness and lightly oxidised bruised fruit quality is more evident, a nice sense of earthiness and a dry, English apple quality. Lovely bright palate, with racy and pithy acidity, but there's no shortage of that pear and apple fruitiness, the nuttiness of the autolysis and the zippiness of the zero dosage. Very nice wine.
(2014) All Chardonnay, 33% of which was fermented in oak. The dosage here is low again, at around 7g/l. Very gentle lemony aromas and creaminess. The palate has beautiful balance, so gently mouth-filling, but crisp and vital ,beautiful harmony.
(2014) Available in Tirage and The Fat Duck. This is a Blanc de Noirs with no dosage, all Pinot Noir with a minimum of 30 months in bottle. I find the nose on this slightly dull, slightly muddied, but there is an earthy pinot character there the light oxidation with some pastry touches. Not a lot of fruit in this. The palate has weight and toasty richness, a full texture, but again perhaps a little lack of fruity charm, ending with a fat lemony acidity though not huge length. Savoury and full, and a nice food wine.