I’m always in the mood for a great glass of bubbly. Bubbles make everything better in my book! One sparkling wine that is ALWAYS on hand in my home is the Antica Fratta 2007 Essence Brut.
Antica Fratta is located in the Franciacorta region in Lombardy, Italy. Back in the 1800’s this property was an old farmstead named La Fratta. Luigi Rossetti who was a Knight of the Holy Cross purchased the property and he dug many tunnels in which he placed barrels of wine. Four of the tunnels are arranged in the form of a Greek Cross. The cellar became the largest and finest of the region which gained it the nickname of El Cantinu which means The Big Cellar. One could say that La Fratta became the first wine cellar in Franciacorta.
When Luigi Rosetti died the property changed hands many times and at one point it was even abandoned. In 1979 Antica Fratta was established by the Zillani family. Franco Zillani started making sparkling wines which were first marketed in the eighties. Today the company owns 8 hectares and produces approximately 350,000 bottles a year.
The Antica Fratta project aimed to restore the property to its former glory and capture the essence of Franciacorta. The key themes of the project were elegance, exclusivity, and pleasure. They wanted to promote the idea of wine as an everyday luxury. Antica Fratta produces several styles of Franciacorta. The basic Franciacorta is the Brut s.a. which sees no wood aging and is kept on the lees for 24 months. The Essence Collection features only vintage-aged Franciacortas and includes the Essence Nature, Essence Brut, Essence Rose, Essence Saten, and the top of the line Quintessence. Antica Fratta also produces a Curtefranca Rosso Ragnoli, and a Curtefranca Bianco.
The Antica Fratta 2007 Essence Brut is made from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Nero. It spends 36 months aging sur lie and sees a little wood refining. Approximately 130,000 bottles were made. It’s a gorgeous pale straw color with a fine perlage. Aromas of Golden Delicious apples, lemon and bosc pear wafted upward from the glass. Great acidity with a light toast and creamy texture which means the wine will pair beautifully with a wide range of food styles. I especially love the mineral characteristic of this wine.
Antica Fratta calls this wine a “means of self gratification that anyone in whatever moment can allow oneself”. I’ll certainly raise a glass to that statement.