Ca’ del Bosco. Italien, Lombardiet, Franciacorta

Ca’ del Boscos hemsida

Italiens kanske bästa mousserande viner

1964 köpte Annamaria Clementi Zanelli ett litet hus på en sluttning i Erbusco som kallas ”Ca-del Bosc” och börjar planterade sina första vingårdar. Ambitionen var redan från start att producera viner av hög kvalitet, i ett område som inte tidigare varit känt för högkvalitativa viner. Med facit i hand  kan vi enkelt konstatera att hon lyckades.

Historia

På 60-talet fanns det endast ett fåtal producenter av mousserande viner i området och först år 1967 kom Franciacorta att definieras som en särskild appellation – Franciacorta DOC – där såväl vita, röda och mousserande viner producerades. År 1968 planterade Annamaria Clementi Zanelli, med hjälp av vingårdsansvarige Antonio Gandossi (som var ansvarig för vingårdarna fram till sin död 2011) de första vingårdarna på egendomen och 1976 skördades Ca’del Boscos första årgång (man startade med tre olika mousserande viner) och de nådde marknaden i december 1978.

Först 1995 blir Franciacorta DOC till Franciacorta DOCG – tack vare det hårda arbete som Ca’del Boscos ägare Maurizio Zanella (son till Annamaria Clementi Zanelli) la in som president for Franciacorta-konsortiumet – och man blir därmed den första appellationen i Italien med 100% fokus på mousserande viner gjorda på klassiska metoden. Den regelmässiga inspirationen för appellationen togs från Champagne och syftet med dessa strikta regler var att kontinuerligt arbeta mot att höja kvaliteten på de viner som produceras i området.

Ca’del Bosco drivs än idag av Maurizio Zanella med stöd av vinmakaren Stefano Capelli som tog över efter sin mentor, den ursprunglige vinmakaren, André Dubois. Tack vare Maurizios hårda arbete som chef för appellationen har Franciacorta idag blivit känt för sin höga kvalitet och att de har en av de striktaste lagstiftningarna i vinvärlden. De mousserande vinerna måste lagras minst 18 månader på sin jästfällning (vilket är 3 månader längre än lagstadgat i champagne), men Ca’del Bosco siktar högre än så – deras Cuvee Prestige lagras minst 24 månader på jästfällningen. Med ambitioner som dessa och genom sin känsla för detaljer har de satt Franciacorta på kartan och anses vara en av dess bäst presterande producenter.

Vingårdar

Med devisen om att viner görs i vingården och inte i vineriet strävar Ca’del Bosco ständigt framåt. Motivationen ligger i att uppnå perfektion till vilket pris som helst, och det har varit kostsamt. De lägger stor vikt vid vinets kvalitet, jordens välmående och att respektera traditionen. Alla 219 hektar odlas ekologiskt och de är ekologiskt certifierade sedan 2014. Det finns inga genvägar. Alla vingårdar är planterade på minst 250 meter över havet och nyplanteringar sker på minst 400 meter få att åstadkomma en lägre medeltemperatur i och med klimatförändringarna, därmed får de också en längre växtsäsong vilket är mycket viktigt – särskilt för mousserande viner. I portföljen finns två non-vintage viner, fyra årgångsspecifika och två riserva. Dessutom tillverkar de en handfull stilla viner. Vinerna är alltid välbalanserade och eleganta.

Vinifikation

Franciacorta görs enligt den traditionella metoden, men Ca’del Bosco jobbar som bekant lite hårdare än den lagstadgade miniminivån. Alla druvor skördas för hand i backar som rymmer max 16 kg för att minimera risken att druvorna ska krossas innan de når vineriet. Väl på plats kyls druvorna ned och pressas när de är svala. Alla klasar kontrolleras för hand, tvättas i deras berry spa, och pressas sedan försiktigt innan vinifieringen som äger rum i ståltankar. Vintage Collection och Annamaria Clementi lagras i barriquer och efter sju månader blandas vinerna till de olika cuvéerna och 20-30 % reservviner blandas in för de årgångslösa produkterna. Vinerna buteljeras och en andra jäsning på flaska sker samt lagring på jästfällningen, här varierar tiden – minst 24 månader för Cuvée Prestige, minst 40 månade för Vintage produkterna och minst 9 år för Riserva. Vinerna genomgår remuage i gyropalletter och för hand i de avvikande storlekarna innan de degorgeras.

5 ”snabba” med Stefano Capelli

1 . What is your favorite time of the year in the vineyards?
”The ripening period, which begins with veraison and ends with harvest; 30-35 days during which the chemical composition of the grape berries evolves. Those who seek excellence in wines know very well that winemaking begins at this stage, in judging the attainment of optimal maturity of the grapes and decreeing the time of harvest. The countdown has begun…the weather of these last weeks will condition the concentration of the grapes and the quality of the vintage for the wines to come. My agronomist colleagues and I, as a team, are closely monitoring this phase by checking, even twice a week, the health status of the vines and the progress of the organoleptic ripening of the berries so that grapes arrive at the winery in an excellent state of ripeness.”

2. What is your favorite part of being a winemaker?
”To be the guardian of the style of wines, of the production philosophy of Ca’ Del Bosco. I was lucky enough to learn my profession from people who taught me at the same time to be ”artist” and wise, intuitive and precise, sensitive and rigorous, unconscious and also brilliant. Today I am the coordinator of a group of passionate people: agronomists, viticulturists, winemakers, cellarers, all oriented to the production of grapes and wines that are an authentic expression of our soils. I can proudly say that we have managed to reveal in our wines the typical taste of our lands, the distillate of our soils. In our wines we have favored the expression of both purity and complexity. In fifty years of winemaking we have succeeded in defining a style, a pleasant and attractive taste, recognizable and the highest expression of the ”fruit” character of our grapes. Making great wines in franciacorta is not difficult because we have a pedo-climatic context in perfect harmony with the vines we grow. Our people do the rest: they lead the vines toward producing bunches of grapes with a biochemical balance that is functional in obtaining stylish and long-lived Franciacorta.”

3. What is your least favorite part of being a winemaker?
”To suffer inertly the extreme weather conditions that are compromising the quality of the grapes especially when you are close to harvest. And you can’t shy away from making a decision and still seek the best expression in wine from those grapes. As I have already mentioned, Ca’ del Bosco wines are programmed in the vineyard and not in the cellar, and it is the weather conditions of the last three weeks before the harvest that will judge the qualitative outcome. To helplessly suffer this phase, when the weather is not on your side (hail, too much rain or scorching heat) discourages you and often forces you to make decisions, even hasty ones, to harvest early at a less than perfect ripeness so as not to lose the quality of the grapes; you have no alternative and all your winemaking plans have to be revised …you suffer! In 2021 a major hailstorm with the harvest already underway. In 2020 rain accompanied us throughout the harvest.”

4. If you had to describe the style of your winemaking with just one sentence – what would it be?
”At Ca’ del Bosco we are always striving for perfection; it’s in our DNA. We like wines that are both attractive and inimitable. Having an important heritage of vineyards in Franciacorta, we have developed a winemaking method that brings out the full potential of our grapes. We extract and preserve the character of our soils enclosed in the grapes to the best of our ability so that it can be detected throughout the entire life of our wines. Today in Ca’ del Bosco we are finally able to produce wines that excite us, wines that I have always dreamed of making. You taste a grape and find its taste still present after 5-10 years of aging. Wines that are elegant, fine, pure, but at the same time fragrant, complex and tasty.”

5. Which of your own wines would you bring to a deserted island, and why?
”I would take with me a few bottles of Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 1990, an excellent vintage for Franciacorta to which I am very attached because it was my first vintage without my mentor: the chef de cave André Dubois, who had left us prematurely a few months earlier. In the cellar there are only a few bottles left, but given ”where they sent me” I feel entitled to take them!!! A wine that still impresses for elegance and depth.”

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