Wine Culture and Information - Volume 13
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  Wine Producers Issue 8, May 2003   
Ca' del BoscoCa' del Bosco Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
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Ca' del Bosco

At Erbusco, in the heart of Franciacorta, homeland of refined sparkling wines, Maurizio Zanella's winery produces excellent still wines as well as excellent bubbles

 Talking about Franciacorta means, first of all, talking about the extraordinary sparkling wines produced with the classic method, certainly to be considered among the excellence of bubbles in the world, and when the subject is about the sparkling wines production of Franciacorta, Ca' del Bosco is surely one of those wineries which is almost impossible not to mention for the quality of its “Franciacorta Metodo Classico” as well as for its excellent still wines, both white and red, that successfully support and complete the production of this renowned winery in Erbusco.

 The creator of Ca' del Bosco's success is Maurizio Zanella, founder of the renowned Franciacorta's winery, whom with passion and attention for details, alone good presuppositions for quality production, was successful, and he is always successful, in creating great wines that are rightly and solidly placed since a very long time at the top of the quality production in the world. One of the main aims of Ca' del Bosco is certainly quality, a goal that the winery also achieves by means of researching and experimentation. In order to do that, the winery has a laboratory with specific equipments that are used for the proper verifications and tests in order to offer its customers a product of superior quality. Quality in Ca' del Bosco begins, first of all, in the care and scrupulous selection of grapes harvested in the winery's vineyards, a process that can be done thanks to the help and experience of competent professionals.


Maurizio Zanella in his cellar
Maurizio Zanella in his cellar

 The history of Ca' del Bosco begins at the end of the 1960's, precisely in 1968, when at Erbusco they started planting the very first winery's vineyards; from those vineyards, as well as other few in other vineyards of Italy, began the so called “Italian Enology Renaissance” as well as launching Franciacorta towards quality sparkling wine production of the world. Everything began few years earlier, precisely in 1965 when in Franciacorta moved in a house in the wood, Annamaria Clementi Zanella, mother of Maurizio Zanella, to whom is now dedicated the most prestigious and refined Franciacorta of the winery. It was among the Erbusco's hills that Maurizio Zanella started cultivating the passion for creating great quality wines. After high school, he studied at the Faculty of Agronomy at the Catholic University of Piacenza and improved his enological culture by studying for two years at the Station Œnologique de Bourgogne and at the University of Enology of Bordeaux.

 The evolution of Ca' del Bosco's production can be summarized in four significant “historical” phases, during each of them the winery introduced new types of wine up to getting to the present production. During the first phase, in the beginning of the 1970's, the winery released two still wines: a white and a red of Franciacorta. The second phase, during the period from 1978 to 1980, the winery decides to start the production of sparkling wines and releases Franciacorta Brut, Dosage Zero, Rosé, Annamaria Clementi and Satèn, at those times known as Crèmant. In the 1980's, a period that can be considered as the third phase, Ca' del Bosco focuses on the production of still wines and releases the Maurizio Zanella, a wine named after the founder itself and produced with the classical Bordeaux blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, a Chardonnay, Pinero, produced with Pinot Noir grape and, finally, Elfo, an interesting white wine produced with Sauvignon Blanc and other local grapes. During the fourth and last phase, the winery completes its production line with other “non vintage” bubbles, as set by the disciplinary of production for the Appellation of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin (DOCG) Franciacorta. The way for the production of great quality wines is however alive and active even nowadays and it is one of the latest wines created at Ca' del Bosco which is having a new and proved interest towards the Franciacorta's winery: Carmenèro, a particular and excellent wine produced with a particular grape: Carmenère.


 

 The peculiarities of Ca' del Bosco are not just wines. The winery is elegantly decorated with paintings, ancient furnitures and artistic objects that culminates with a particular gate, entrance to the winery, made by sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro and named as Inno al Sole, (Hymn to the Sun). This gate is made of a round structure of 5 meters of diameter (16.5 feet) which is divided in two sides of 25 quintals each (2.4 tons). The design of this gate ended in 1987, whereas the construction ended in 1993. The gate, located at Ca' del Bosco's entrance, was commissioned by Maurizio Zanella who asked sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro to design and make a gate representing the emblematic entrance towards vineyards and the estate. The gate, according to an artistic point of view, does not only have the purpose of a portal, it is also the consecration of the relation between wine and art, because, as stated by Maurizio Zanella himself, “art is also making quality wine”. By means of this work of art Zanella wanted to set the way for a new civilization of wine, by creating a privileged connection among quality of its structures, lands, men, wine and the quality of art. According to this philosophy takes form the round shaped gate, made of bronze with a core of steel, with points upwards similar to arrows, a big sun, because it is the sun the real nourishment of grape and with its rays warms and enlightens the sweet hills of Ca' del Bosco.

 The events of Maurizio Zanella, as well as those of Ca' del Bosco, are rather singular and surprising. He starts making wine, and to believe in the production of quality wines, in a period when in Italy were mainly produced wines that could not be considered as bad, however they could not have any chance when compared to the wines of that country which already made of quality its peculiar characteristic: France. The choice of Maurizio Zanella about producing quality wines began after he traveled in France, in the beginning of the 1970's, precisely in Bourgogne, and at just 17 years old he was absolutely amazed by the French quality and truly disappointed by the Italian one. It was during that time he decided his job would have been making great wines in the lands where he lived. A decision that surely took lots of courage, even because at those times his decision was not even understood by his Italian “colleagues” wine producers and, not to mention, he was considered, together with other few “pioneers” of the renaissance of Italian enology, as a visionary. Time proved Maurizio Zanella was right and within less than ten years his wines are already renowned in many countries of the world. With the success of his wines he is also successful is turning into reality his wish of getting the world of art closer to the one of wine, once again, a difficult choice for those times, however, as Zanella himself reminds, those were times when wine was living a new era and therefore it was necessary to impose changes that could be immediately evident.


``Inno al Sole'', entrance gate of Ca' del Bosco
“Inno al Sole”, entrance gate of Ca' del Bosco

 After about twenty years, the results achieved by Ca' del Bosco confirm that Maurizio Zanella was absolutely right in being determined in his aims. His wines are now celebrated everywhere and they always achieve the best results and the best successes in every place; Ca' del Bosco's wines are always awarded and get the best acclaims both from customers and the professionals working in the wine business. His still wines have always been successful everywhere and whenever they competed or compared to great wines from other countries, including France, they always ended up being awarded with the best triumphs and honors. The same is also true for Franciacorta sparkling wines, just to mention one, the excellent Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 1996, considered as one of the best Italian sparkling wines “Metodo Classico”, and it often outclasses even the most outstanding French Champagne in occasion of many wine contests, moreover, it is the only Italian sparkling wine to be included in the first one hundred wines of the century. Cuvée Annamaria Clementi is not the only sparkling wine of Ca' del Bosco to “dare” so much. The result of a recent survey organized by a famous German magazine, conducted on sparkling wines from all over the world whose work was guaranteed by seven professional wine tasters, Ca' del Bosco's Franciacorta Dosage Zero was awarded to the prestigious first place and left behind a number of worth representatives of international class, including also thirteen Champagnes and three Franciacortas.

 The ambitions of the “volcanic” Zanella are not only that. Within September 2003 it will be completed the new cellar at Ca' del Bosco, a project of increasing and renewal of the company which involved the winery for two years, and that will occupy an area of twenty thousand square meters (23920 square yards) in order to have room for new services and structures capable of guaranteeing a production of one million and two hundred thousands bottles. The new structure will also have an underground aging cellar of thirteen thousands square meters (15550 square yards) that will host two thousands barriques, as well as other rooms for aging and laboratories for analyses, in particular one expressly built for the analysis of the land and of the foliar apparatuses. At the end of the work the new area of Ca' del Bosco destined to vineyards will be about 140 hectares (246 acres). Ca' del Bosco also joined the group of producers who decided to adopt the appellation Curtefranca in order to clearly differentiate “Terre di Franciacorta” wines as well as avoiding any confusion with the sparkling wines produced in the very same area and simply called “Franciacorta”. For this purpose the winery has created a new look for these two Curtefranca wines, a white and a red, by designing a new label which depicts the original Ca' del Bosco's mark of the 1980's. Even in the vineyards they are about to do new works in order to improve quality with a density of nine thousands vines per hectare and they will manually harvest grapes which will be gathered in boxes containing fifteen kilograms each. (33 lbs.) Since two vintages, as the grapes are being harvested, they are stored in refrigerators waiting to be pressed according to the “rhythm” of work for the pressing machines. Within twentyfour hours from harvesting, grapes are manually selected and then pressed. The production of white wines does not have any destemming process, the bunches are pressed as a whole, while selecting during the many working phases, different qualities of must. The production of red grapes goes under a destemming process and then they are pressed and the must is then transferred in steel tanks where the alcoholic fermentation takes place.

 Ca' del Bosco's wines are sold in 28 foreign countries, to whose it is destined about the 30% of the production. Both in Italy and abroad, the distribution policy is mainly in favor of the restaurant and wine shop business. The current production of Ca' del Bosco is rather diversified and vast and provides Curtefranca Bianco, Curtefranca rosso and Chardonnay as “Terre di Franciacorta DOC” wines; Elfo 11 and Carmenèro as “table wines”; Pinero and Maurizio Zanella as “IGT Sebino” wines; Franciacorta Brut, Franciacorta Satèn Vintage, Franciacorta Rosé Vintage, Franciacorta Brut Vintage, Franciacorta Dosage Zero Vintage and Cuvée Annamaria Clementi as “Franciacorta DOCG” sparkling wines.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Elfo 11, Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Elfo 11
Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc (90%), Other grapes (10%)
Price: € 18,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a greenish yellow color, very transparent. The nose reveals the typical aromaticity of the grape with elegant, clean and very pleasing aromas. There can be perceived intense and good aromas of pineapple, anise, banana, tomato leaf, lemon, litchi, peach, grapefruit and elder. The mouth has a crisp attack, however balanced and agreeable, with intense flavors and good correspondence to the nose. The finish is persistent with clean flavors of lemon, peach and elder. A well made wine. Elfo 11 is aged for 8 months in steel tanks.
Food Match: (Pasta and risotto with fish, Vegetables pies, Roasted spiced fish



Terre di Franciacorta Chardonnay 2000, Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Terre di Franciacorta Chardonnay 2000
Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay
Price: € 44,00 Score:
The wine shows a light straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes personality, with clean, pleasing, intense and elegant aromas such as pineapple, banana, broom, apple, hazelnut, pear, peach, grapefruit and vanilla. In the mouth reveals a good balance with a slightly alcoholic attack, very balanced and bodied, with intense flavors and excellent correspondence to the nose. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of pear, apple and grapefruit. A great white. This Chardonnay is fermented in barrique and aged for 11 months in new barriques.
Food Match: Roasted fish, Sauteed meat, White roasted meat, Stuffed pasta, Soft cheese



Maurizio Zanella 1999, Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Maurizio Zanella 1999
Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), Cabernet Franc (30%),
Merlot (25%)
Price: € 46,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
A great wine. The wine shows a beautiful and brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose denotes personality, with intense, elegant and clean aromas such as black cherry, carob, cherry, chocolate, plum jam, eucalyptus, strawberry, licorice, blueberry and vanilla. In mouth reveals an excellent correspondence to the nose and an excellent balance since the first moments. Intense flavors and tannins which already have a good level of aging. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of plum and black cherry. A wine which will give its best with a further aging in bottle, however it is drinkable already. Maurizio Zanella is aged in barrique for 15 months.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Hard cheese, Braised meat, Stewed meat



Carmenero 1999, Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Carmenero 1999
Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Grapes: Carmenère
Price: € 47,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of purplish red, little transparency. The nose denotes great personality with elegant, intense and clean aromas such as black cherry, cocoa, blueberry, black pepper, bell pepper, plum, black currant and vanilla. In mouth reveals an alcoholic attack however balanced by tannins which already are smooth and round. Excellent correspondence to the nose with intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and black currant. A great wine that will give its best with a further aging in bottle. Carmenero is ages in barrique for 16 months.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Hard cheese, Braised meat, Stewed meat



Franciacorta Satèn Millesimato 1998, Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Franciacorta Satèn Millesimato 1998
Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay (70%), Pinot Blanc (30%)
Price: € 31,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This sparkling wine shows a fine perlage, persistent bubbles and in good quantity, good foam. The color is a deep straw yellow and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals great personality, with elegant, clean and complex aromas such as ripe banana, butter, bread crust, kiwi, yeast, litchi, apple, honey, hazelnut, pear, grapefruit and vanilla. In mouth denotes a crisp and dry attack, however balanced and with intense flavors, excellent correspondence to the nose. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of grapefruit, apple, pear and banana. This sparkling wine is produced with a base wine aged for 7 months in steel containers and 11 months in barrique. The wine stays for at least 40 months on the lees.
Food Match: White meat, Pasta and risotto with vegetables and fish, Roasted fish, Fried fish, Crustaceans



Franciacorta Dosage Zero Millesimato 1998, Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Franciacorta Dosage Zero Millesimato 1998
Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay (65%), Pinot Blanc (16%), Pinot Noir (19%)
Price: € 28,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This sparkling wine shows a very fine perlage, good quantity of persistent bubbles, good foam. The color is intense straw yellow and nuances of straw yellow, crystalline. The nose reveals good personality, elegance, complex and clean aromas such as pineapple, banana, butter, bread crust, kiwi, yeast, lemon, litchi, unripe apple, honey, hazelnut and pear. In mouth has a pleasing dry and crisp attack, excellent correspondence to the nose, intense flavors and balanced. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of pear, banana, honey and pineapple. This Franciacorta is produced with a wine aged both in steel tanks and small oak casks. The wine stays on lees for a minimum of 35 months before being disgorged.
Food Match: White meat, Pasta and risotto with vegetables and fish, Roasted fish, Fried fish, Crustaceans



Franciacorta Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 1996, Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Franciacorta Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 1996
Ca' del Bosco (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay (55%), Pinot Blanc (25%), Pinot Noir (20%)
Price: € 53,00 Score:
A great sparkling wine. It has a very fine perlage and persistent bubbles in great quantity, abundant and persistent foam. The nose reveals great personality, with very elegant, refined, clean and pleasing aromas such as apricot, pineapple, banana, butter, bread crust, yeast, litchi, apple, honey, hazelnut, pear, grapefruit and vanilla. In the mouth has an excellent correspondence to the nose, crisp and balanced attack with pleasing, clean and intense flavors. The finish is very persistent and practically endless with clean and pleasing flavors of banana, litchi, pineapple, honey, pear, apple and grapefruit. A magnificent sparkling wine. Cuvée Annamaria Clementi is produced with a base wine fermented in barrique and undergoes full malolactic fermentation and therefore is aged in barrique for 7 months. It stays on the lees for 5 years and 8 months.
Food Match: Roasted white meat, Pasta and risotto with fish, Stuffed pasta, Roasted spiced fish



Ca' del Bosco - Via Case Sparse, 20 - 25030 Erbusco, Brescia - Italy Tel. +39 030 7766111 Fax +39 030 7268425 - Winemaker: Stefano Capelli - Established: 1968 - Production: 950.000 bottles - E-Mail: cadelbosco@cadelbosco.com - WEB: www.cadelbosco.it


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  Wine Producers Issue 8, May 2003   
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Cellar Journal


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