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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 Frizzante NAI 2010 750ml
Frecciarossa Riesling Frizzante NAI 2010 750ml
Price: $19.80
Currently Unavailable.

Oltrepò Pavese's Frecciarossa uses only the very best crus for its whites, and the Frecciarossa Riesling Frizzante Nai is a delicious, fresh and fun Italian iteration of the Riesling grape. Crafted from 75 percent Riesling blended with Pinot Noir, this wine derives from grapes grown in clay and calcareous soil; after handpicking, the grapes are gently pressed and fermented in steel to preserve freshness and terroir. This lightly sparkling yellow-green wine is surprisingly rich and intense, offering wildflowers and woodsiness on the nose, while the palate provides tropical fruits, stone fruits, toasted nuts and delightful minerality. Priced at under $20, this artisanal sparkler makes any moment a special occasion--just add Riesling Frizzante Nai!
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
Currently Unavailable.

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
Currently Unavailable.

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: $29.99
Currently Unavailable.

Child of a warm growing season, this ’16 Dolcetto drips with its red and black fruits, wildflower aromatics, exotic spices, and sun-warmed earth. But as you’d expect from sneaky Dolcetto, for all its sweet scents, this Dolcetto wine is dry, swaddling the palate with a velvety feel and 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 that Giacosa has worked with for years; fermented and aged in stainless steel vats, this is classic Dolcetto.
Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba Falletto 2014 750ml
Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d'Alba Falletto 2014 750ml
Price: $33.99
Currently Unavailable.

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.
Mamete Prevostini Sassella Valtellina Superiore 2014 750ml
Mamete Prevostini Sassella Valtellina Superiore 2014 750ml
Price: $33.99

Juicy, tart red and blue berries dance with violet petals, licorice, baking spices, fresh earth and a dusting of white pepper in this mineral-laden, elegant ’14 Sassella Valtellina. An early-drinking, elegant Nebbiolo bottling, this wine whooshes across the palate with electric acidity, building to a lingering finish that’s full of minerality and fine-grained tannins. Deriving from vineyards in Triasso, this wine’s Nebbiolo grapes ferment on the skins for about two weeks, and the wine ages for a year in oak barrels, followed by ten months in bottle.
Castello Bonami Franciacorta CruPerdu 2012 750ml
Castello Bonami Franciacorta CruPerdu 2012 750ml
Price: $36.99

Juicy stone fruits, crisp orchard fruits, and zesty citrus fruits dance on a framework of white wildflowers, brioche, baking spices, and crushed river rocks in the elegant, intense ’12 Franciacorta CruPerdu. Fine, persistent perlage tickles the palate, while cheek-piquing minerality holds the wine’s succulent fruits in check--this is a superb alternative to Champagne! In 1986, Castello Bonomi’s chef de cave, Luigi Bersini, took a walk in the woods and found an abandoned vineyard. This 10-acre vineyard is the source of the wine’s name and the grapes for Bonomi’s most popular Franciacorta bottling. A blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, grapes ferment in temperature-controlled steel and wood vats; the cuvée’s second fermentation takes eight months in vats before bottling, where the wine ages on the lees for 36 months.
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.
Castello Bonomi Franciacorta Brut Rose NV 750ml
Castello Bonomi Franciacorta Brut Rose NV 750ml
Price: $39.99

Pale onion-skin pink in the glass, this Franciacorta Brut Rosé layers its juicy red berries with pressed rose petals, apple compote, bread crust and a touch of balsamic herbs. Tiny, delicious bubbles fill the mouth as this wine’s zippy citrusy acidity pushes it across the palate to a delightful, food-friendly finish that’s accented by almonds. A mono-varietal Pinot Noir deriving from the estate’s five-acre Terrazze vineyard, grapes ferment in temperature-controlled steel; the wine’s second fermentation takes six months in vats before bottling, where the wine ages on the lees for 24 months before disgorgement.