Wine Review: Santus Brut Franciacorta Sparkling Wine

When holding tastings, people often ask me what is the difference between Cava and Prosecco. Perhaps it is because Prosecco has been, at least here in Sweden, more known amongst consumers than Cavas. I am not surprised, as the Monopoly selection is really weak on quality cava. But for those who are not acquainted with the subject, a very simple description of the difference is, that Proseccos are aged (“fermented”) in steel tanks (The Charmat Method), as opposed to Champagnes and Cavas being aged in bottles (the Champagne Method or Methode Champenoise). There are other differences as well of course, but I will leave the analysis to a future post.

Franciacorta is the main exception. It’s one of the few wine regions in Italy that produces sparkling wine with the Champagne Method, the others being Trento and Oltrepo Pavese. I am not saying one method produces better wines than the other (yes I am), but they bring out different characteristics in the wines. Steel fermented sparkling wines tend to be more “fresh” and fruity. The route from grape to wine is shorter than with the Champagne method, and the wines should be consumed young when their fruitiness is at it’s max. Champagne method on the other hand produces a different result. The fruitiness of the wine diminishes with age and aromas such as toast, nuts, caramel and yeast come out. These characteristics are developed over time contributing to a smooth and creamy texture to the wine.

However this is a wine review, not a deep dive into production methods. Santus Brut Franciacorta sparkling ended up on our table from M’s trip to Northern Italy. It was a recommendation from a local wine-shop. I tried to enter the producers web-site, but I run into a common problem that I often have (as I concentrate on small producers), the website is only in Italian. That’s a bit disappointing, as I would have liked to read about the producer.

Now about the wine itself: Santus Brut is a mix of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, it has 7g/ liter residual sugar and it has been aged for 21 months. It’s actually a single vintage from 2009. Mmm. the ingredients are there for me to like it! The color of the wine is light yellow and the bubbles small (a characteristic common to the Champagne method). The nose of the wine is fresh and lemony, and the taste sour, sort of like biting into a Granny Smith apple. Its an easy sparkling wine. Perhaps value for money for 14 Eur.

If this wine would be available here in Sweden I would definitely buy it. I could imagine it as an aperitif (for a summer party) or pairing well with some white fish. I think for 14 Eur a bottle it is a really good choice. Perhaps I need to contact the producer and ask if they need a distributor (wink wink). I give this wine 3.5 stars.

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