At Ca’ del Bosco with Maurizio Zanella
It is always illuminating to spend a few hours with Maurizio Zanella, one of those experiences that change your way of thinking by projecting you forward to a dimension where you realize that the avant-garde does exist and it is anything but a Pindaric flight. Maurizio Zanella is a serious person who has his feet firmly on the ground and very clear ideas. He also has an eye for beauty and in a way even believes that “beauty will change the world”. It is for this reason that he surrounds himself with art and considers making wine an art, a form of artistic expression that is pure because it is achieved by listening to and interpreting nature. It takes talent to make wine and even more so for Franciacorta considering the complex method involved in producing it. But above all what is needed is a vision to imagine what will occur when time has played its role, when a bottle has spent eight years in the cellar to become a Franciacorta Riserva.
Maurizio Zanella has clear ideas not only about his Ca’ del Bosco estate but the whole area of Franciacorta itself. Here the vineyards are situated at an average of 200m above sea level and there are two natural amphitheaters created by moraine hills rich is deposits of chalk and pebbles. These demark two areas of high-quality production, even if due to climate change the vineyards are being moved higher. At least this is the case at Ca’ del Bosco where they have acquired new vineyards that sit at between 300 and 4000m, with the Belvedere vineyard at 466m. Zanella is convinced that the best is yet to come because everything is just a question of time, commitment and small yet great revolutions. He is convinced that Franciacorta will bring out the best from its grapes when the vineyards planted five to ten years ago enter production and this will set the stage for even the newer estates to produce great wines.
This is a long-term commitment because a vine may need as many as 50 years to peak but already today it is important to prepare for the future. It is for this reason that at Ca’ del Bosco they have opted for organic farming methods. And this not as a marketing ploy because one cannot jump on the bandwagon of a trend when the outcome is so far in the future. For them, organic methods are something one must truly believe in and commit to in the long-term. From a media point of view, Zanella considers the organic phenomenon to be something like the one for using barriques 20 years ago if the goal is just to expand one’s clientele.
Convictions, studies, experimentation and decision are what produced the Ca’ del Bosco Method which took years to define. The grape bunches are harvested by hand and selected on a sorting tables after which they are washed in three whirlpool tubs before they pressed under oxygen-free conditions (the same conditions when the wine is disgorged). All this allows the aromatic purity of the grapes to be maintained without the impurities from the copper and sulfur. The method represents a Copernican revolution and is undoubtedly an example of Maurizio Zanella’s determination to obtain his vision of Franciacorta. For him, this must be a wine that is as elegant as possible, pure and without any winemaking gimmick used to create an oxidative style because the fragrance must be preserved and only time should determine the evolution of the bouquet. This method is the only way Franciacorta Ca’del Bosco can obtain its propensity to age and the complexity that distinguishes it. A prime example is the estate’s showcase wine: Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 2007.
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|Cuvée Annamaria Clementi 2007
Disgorged in the summer of 2016. Because of the hot growing season of 2007, this is a blend of 55% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Bianco and 20% Pinot Noir from the best cru. These include the 20 vineyards of...