Berlucchi is the brand that kicked off the success, revival and subsequent fortunes of Franciacorta, and was named “Winery of the Year 2022” by Gambero Rosso for “having written the history of the classic method in Italy.”
Here, in 1961, the expert hands of Franco Ziliani and Guido Berlucchi created the area’s first classic method sparkling wine: the first Franciacorta. The winery is now run by Ziliani’s three children: Cristina, Arturo and Paolo, who have guided it into the new millennium, continuing their father’s mission centred on innovation and enriching the territory; guiding a brand that is now recognised worldwide as being synonymous with Franciacorta and quality, as well as modern research and sustainability.
In 2020, the winery presented its first Sustainability Report, which analyses the course taken over the last 20 years and more under the leadership of the second generation of the Ziliani family, and outlines the improvements generated locally under the motto: “We take the best of Franciacorta, but we also know how to give back.”
And it is this very philosophy of absolute respect for the territory and the desire to capture its true essence in the bottle that gave rise to the ’61 line. Dedicated to the year the first bottle of Franciacorta was created, the line consists of three Franciacorta non-vintage wines—Extra Brut, Satèn, and Rosé—and three Franciacorta zero-dosage single-vintage wines—Brut Nature, Nature Blanc de Blancs, and Nature Rosé. Appreciated by Italian and international critics alike, these six Franciacorta wines encapsulate the essence of the terroir, transmitting the care taken over every detail and the quality provided by an environment that is treated with love and respect.
In particular, the single-vintage Franciacorta ’61 Nature wines express the hidden nature of Franciacorta with elegant sophistication. Aged in the bottle for at least five years, they are the choice of the most demanding connoisseurs, who appreciate the precise and essential nuances of a wine made without compromise. And the characteristics of these precious Franciacorta wines form the subject of the following article.
Berlucchi ‘61 Nature: The iconic Franciacorta line in all its purity
The Berlucchi ‘61 Franciacorta Nature line is made with grapes from the estate’s finest vineyards and requires at least five years of bottle ageing.
The latest addition to the Berlucchi family, it marks a marked shift to a more modern and innovative look, with bold lines and colors that match the strong personality of these Franciacorta wines.
The defining characteristic is the absence of dosage, to emphasize the natural balance and pleasantness that only the Franciacorta terroir and expert work in both vineyard and cellar can provide.
Berlucchi ’61 Brut Nature
Berlucchi ’61 Brut Nature is characterized by the elegance of a zero-dosage vintage wine that matures at least five years in the bottle, in strict Nature style. The blend that distinguishes it comprises Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in percentages that vary in the different vintages according to the scrupulous choices of our oenologist.
Its image, featuring elements of the circle, the symbol of perfection, will make it a favourite with those who appreciate refinement in all its forms.
What can one expect from this wine? Its complex, elegant bouquet is characterised by a distinct note of yellow fruits and candied citrus interwoven with delicate pan brioche aromas. On the palate, the wine is characterised by structure and power supported by a vibrant acidity, the closing sapidity lending dynamism and tension to the flavor.
How should it be paired? It brings out the best in complex first courses and filled fresh pasta, main courses of steamed fish, meat dishes and cheeses, even mature ones.
Berlucchi ’61 Nature Rosé
The celebration of the first Franciacorta classic method rosé. Not everyone knows that it was from the Berlucchi cellars that the first bottle of Italian classic method rosé emerged in 1962, just a year after the very first bottle of Franciacorta wine.
Since then, the production of Franciacorta Rosé has been a cornerstone of the Berlucchi portfolio, and the winery is considered a master of this type of winemaking and in the cultivation of Pinot Noir.
Indeed, it is pure Pinot Noir that is the undisputed star of Berlucchi ’61 Nature Rosé, with no added dosage and enhanced by bottle ageing of at least five years.
What can one expect from this wine? The bouquet is fragrant and complex, with notes of cranberry mingled with delicate hints of citrus fruit. On the palate, the wine is characterised by the excellent balance between its smoothness deriving from long ageing sur lie, the acidity and mineral richness of the white-fermented Pinot Noir, and the refined tannic texture of the macerated Pinot Noir.
How should it be paired? Excellent throughout a meal, this Millesimato goes well with full-flavored cold cuts as an aperitif, meat-based first courses, flavorful meats and cheeses, including mature ones.
Berlucchi ’61 Nature Blanc de Blancs
The latest zero-dosage vintage wine from the Nature Line.
This Franciacorta Millesimato is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from the Arzelle vineyard, the best suited and sunniest Chardonnay plot in the estate’s vineyards. It ages at least five years in the bottle and is characterised by the absence of dosage syrup, in strict Nature style.
What can one expect from this wine? It has a broad and deep bouquet, with notes of ripe plums, lime blossom and caramelised hazelnuts. On the palate, it is characterised by vivid acidity and a dynamism conferred by its excellent closing sapidity.
How should it be paired? This single-vintage wine is suitable throughout a meal. It gives its best alongside complex aperitifs, seafood dishes, risottos, fish dishes, white meats and medium-aged cheeses.