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The Wines of Lombardia

Wines of LombardiaLombardia is pretty well off, and it shows in the opulent, highly stylized wineries of its Franciacorta zone, the seat of the region’s sparkling production. These are not merely for the sake of appearance, however, as sparklers—and increasingly still wines— are taken quite seriously in a land where business is pleasure. Situated in the Po Valley’s center, Lombardia is bordered by Trentino–Alto Adige, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Piemonte, and Switzerland.
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Frecciarossa Riesling Gli Orti 2012 750ml
Frecciarossa Riesling Gli Orti 2012 750ml
Price: $21.99

This rich, intense, and satisfyingly tart white bursts with floral notes that frame its orchard and citrus fruits, and its palate complements these aromatics with earthy, mineral and herbaceous nuances. A brisk acidity makes this wine dance across the palate to a finish that’s accented with a bitter almond sharpness. Hints of apricots and tropical fruits, a streak of minerality, and fistfuls of herbs make this white food-friendly, especially for any cream-based dish. Deriving from mineral-rich vineyards located in the Oltrepò Pavese zone, the grapes ferment in temperature-controlled vats, and the wine ages for at least a year before release.
Frecciarossa Pinot Nero Bianco Sillery 2015 750ml
Frecciarossa Pinot Nero Bianco Sillery 2015 750ml
Price: $21.99

Crushed red berries and white-flesh stone fruits dance with spices, balsamic herbs, and pressed white flowers in this enveloping, lively ’15 Pinot Nero Bianco. This wine layers its silky texture on a sturdy acidic spine, offering a scintillating oscillation between sweet fruit and lively freshness. This food-friendly wine accompanies dishes from cream-based seafood dishes to hard cheeses and sautéed vegetables with aplomb. Only the best grapes are used for Frecciarossa’s whites, including this Pinot Nero, grown in 3.5 acres of calcareous vineyards. After a soft pressing, fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. A mono-varietal Pinot Nero, or Pinot Noir, this straw-yellow wine is an unusual, complex and vibrant spin on the traditionally red wine grape.
Barone Pizzini Brut Franciacorta 2009 375ml
Barone Pizzini Brut Franciacorta 2009 375ml
Price: $23.20

This organically grown Chardonnay sparkler gets extensive aging on its lees, giving it delicious toasty notes, and its Lombardia terroir imbues it with fresh herbaceousness. While you’ll find a lively palate of tropical fruits, orange marmalade and candied ginger, the wine itself isn’t an effusive bubbly. This vibrant pale golden Franciacorta offers a smooth and persistent sparkle that combines with the classic character that you would expect of a wine fermented in the bottle.
Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba 2015 750ml
Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba 2015 750ml
Price: $26.99

Child of a warm growing season, this wine drips with its red and black fruits, wildflower aromatics, exotic spices, and sun-warmed earth. Supple and dry, this ’15 Dolcetto swaddles the palate with a velvety feel, suffusing the mouth with dry extract as it builds to a lingering finish marked by Dolcetto’s telltale almond notes. Fleshy yet elegant, this balanced ’15 Dolcetto is a perfect easy-drinking wine. Deriving from vineyards in Neive, Neviglie, Treiso and Alba, the grapes for this Dolcetto were grown by farmers Giacosa has worked with for years; fermented and aged in stainless steel vats, this is classic Dolcetto.
Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis 2015 750ml
Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis 2015 750ml
Price: $28.99
Currently Unavailable

It’s hard to go wrong with Roero Arneis, especially one made by Bruno Giacosa. Reflective of its warm growing year, this ’15 Roero Arneis explodes with white-fleshed stone fruits, citrus zest, baking spices, white flowers, and chalky minerality. Expansive and opulent, this wine nonetheless is energized by its tangy acidity and saline minerality, which work together to make this wine dance across the palate. Deriving from vineyards in Vezza d’Alba, Monteu Roero, Santo Stefano Roero, Canale, and Montà d’Alba, this Roero is crafted entirely in stainless steel.
Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba Falletto 2014 750ml
Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba Falletto 2014 750ml
Price: $33.99

Crushed flower petals frame the juicy red and blue fruits in this tempting, seductive ’14 Dolcetto that wafts from the glass with devastatingly pretty aromatics. Tightly wound, this wine unfurls on the palate to show bright, vibrant acidity complemented by stony minerality; it builds to a dry finish marked by Dolcetto’s trademark bitter almond notes. Just delicious! Deriving from vineyards in Neive, Neviglie, Treiso and Alba, the grapes for this Dolcetto were grown by farmers Giacosa has worked with for years; fermented and aged in stainless steel vats, this is classic Dolcetto.
Barone Pizzini Animante Brut Franciacorta 750ml
Barone Pizzini Animante Brut Franciacorta 750ml
Price: $37.20

Bursting with tongue-tingling acidity and piquant minerality, Barone Pizzini’s Animante Brut Franciacorta is a bewitching, food-friendly sparkling wine that layers its citrus and orchard fruits with white flowers, Christmas spices, and crushed river rocks. Persistent fine perlage tickles the palate until its lingering, creamy finish. This blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Bianco derive from the estate’s organically tended 25 vineyard parcels that range across Franciacorta; the grapes ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel for about 12 days, and, using Champagne protocol, the wine ages in stainless steel for six months, followed by eighteen to thirty months of bottle aging.
Bruno Giacosa Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore 2014 750ml
Bruno Giacosa Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore 2014 750ml
Price: $37.99

Juicy red fruits dance on a brooding foundation of licorice, exotic spices, warm cigar wrapper, smoky minerality, and pressed flower petals in this approachable, pretty ’14 Nebbiolo d’Alba. Velvety and caressing, this wine snuggles the palate with chewy tannins, making for an elegant, enjoyable drinking experience. Giacosa sources this wine from old-vine Nebbiolo grown in prestigious vineyards by farmers with whom the estate has longtime relationships; it’s crafted to provide an early-drinking yet aristocratic version of the emblematic Piemonte grape.
Bruno Giacosa Spumante Brut 2004
Bruno Giacosa Spumante Brut 2004 750ml
Price: $50.10
Currently Unavailable

Made from 100% Pinot Noir grown in Lombardia, Giacosa's Brut Spumante is made in the traditional Champagne method and a 'blanc des noirs  style. Ripe fruit is complimented by a twist of minerality and an alluringly creamy texture. One of the greatest sparklers in all of Italy.  Although Giacosa is one of Piemonte's foremost producers (of Barolo and Barbaresco), he elects to produce this 100% Pinot Nero spumante in Piemonte's neighboring region of Lombardia—formerly a part of Piemonte—specifically in the Oltrepo Pavese zone. While many styles of wine are permitted in this region, the DOC regulations specifically provide for a metodo classico spumante composed of 70% Pinot Nero. In recent years, this region has attracted the notice of Italian wine connoisseurs and its terroir—marked by slopes rich in limestone—supports the contention that the area is suited to the production of wines of substance. Oltrepo Pavese's local varieties include Riesling Renano, Riesling Italico, and Uva Rara.  First bottled in 1983, the initial fermentation of this sparkler is carried out in stainless steel. Following secondary fermentation in bottle and hand riddling, the wine ages on the lees for a period of 24 to 30 months prior to release. Subtly delineated by scents of fruit and yeast, Giacosa's Brut is elegant and marked by a persistent perlage; it is dry and lively on the palate.
Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa Spumante Extra Brut 2007 750ml
Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa Spumante Extra Brut 2007 750ml
Price: $59.99

Bruno Giacosa makes a terrific Spumante with a dry, spare style, complex palate and persistent, sophisticated perlage. White-flesh stone fruit, apples, lemons and a sprinkling of bread yeast comprise the flavor profile of this sparkler, whose strong spine makes it a very food-friendly wine. It’s fashioned from Pinot Noir grapes grown in Piemonte’s neighbor, the Oltrepò Pavese region of Lombardia (once part of Piemonte). Vinified in stainless steel to help carry terroir, this is an elegant, dry sparkling wine that is among Italy’s best answers to Champagne.