Thursday, 15 August 2013

Flights of Franciacorta (2) _ Enrico Gatti

Erbusco vineyards

This azienda is close to my heart, a proper wine farm, the enterprise akin to a good-sized recoltant-manipulant in, say, Champagne's Cote des Blancs, with 17 hectares of prime vineyards above Erbusco, producing 150,000 bottles annually of Franciacorta DOCG across five cuvees. Founded in 1977 by Enrico, the wines are now made by his son, Lorenzo in a style that is serieux, without compromise - for those who want durably structured Franciacortas which will age well in a unhurried way. Low in dosage (5 g/l or less), firm but not too big, with a strong mineral presence & sense of place. English speaking journalists often scurry around to describe the Italianate character of Franciacorta. Personally, I think the more interesting reality is how closely the Franciacortese study the best Champenois and impose even stricter criteria on themselves in the search for balance and poise in their inherently richer wines. Jean-Claude Rouzaud of Louis Roederer's famous adage about 'Champagne's restrained exuberance' finds an echo in Gatti's Franciacortas, a different opulent expression, of course, but from the same philosophical base. Lorenzo at first spoke about his wines in workaday English, but he soon got frustrated and asked if we spoke French. So, we  chatted away happily, comparing notes about our shared favourites among growers in Le Mesnil, Cramant & Avize (Peters, Vergnon, Lilbert, Agrapart). Lorenzo is very well informed

Three winners, tasted Erbusco 10 July 2013

Enrico Gatti Franciacorta Brut Rose. Pure Pinot Nero/Noir from 2010. Made the hard way, the fine roseate colour with subtle salmon lights, achieved by skin contact, is most skilfully judged. Fresh and fragrant, medium intense mouthfeel, beautifully dry, lots of little red fruits but withal precise, well defined, enhanced by that mineral streak and elegant acidity. Made for food, especially risotto con porcini to please the Pinot Nero. Franco Ziliani gave this wine four and a half stars, maybe from a different vintage. How right he must have been.  Today **** (*)  18. Exceptional

Enrico Gatti Franciacorta Saten 2007. 100% Chardonnay, fermented in French oak futs. The wine is now opening up beautifully, the effects of gentle oxygenation from its time in wood. Excellent,straight, super-dry, steely elegance, a touch of austerity in the best sense. Dosage just 4.5g/l. **** 17.5

Enrico Gatti Franciacorta Millesimata 2007 at the start of its journey to full maturity. " You do need patience with my wines," sighs Lorenzo. Great wells of fruits which will blossom in complexity over quite a few years. Great potential Dosage 4g/l, doesn't need more. **** (*) 18

Azienda agricola Enrico Gatti
(Lorenzo Gatti)
Via Metelli 9
25030 Erbusco (Brescia)
Tel 030 7267999


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