A Toast to the Bounty of Summer

This time of year, we’re especially inspired in the kitchen; our local markets are bursting with the season’s freshest fruits and vegetables, and it seems that nothing more than a light touch is needed to turn such exquisite raw materials into a healthy local feast.

This is the same philosophy that guides the winemaking principles of Barone Pizzini; an appreciation for the bounty of the land and a respect for the raw ingredients that has inspired the company to lead the way in organic production of Franciacorta, as well as biodynamic production of Pievalta in Le Marche.

Not surprising, then, that many of the restaurants around the country that include Barone Pizzini in their wine programs also espouse this dedication to local sourcing and appreciation for highlighting the flavors of each changing season. Great news for those of us who are committed to sustainable dining, but less inspired in the kitchen!

ABC Kitchen, New York City

The New York restaurant scene has embraced the “local” food trend in a big way – but ABC Kitchen takes this commitment to a new level. In addition to Chef Jean-Georges’ focus on organic seasonal produce, meat, fish and dairy are sourced locally and sustainably whenever possible; herbs and microgreens are grown on a rooftop garden; and beverages – from wine to coffee and tea – are organic and fair-trade. Even the dining room includes recycled or reclaimed materials – we’ll toast to that!

Coppa, Boston

coppa veg
Seasonal fare at Coppa, Boston

Not traditionally viewed as a foodie haven, Boston is making a name for itself as a culinary destination in its own right, thanks in part to a rising generation of outstanding chefs, including Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa in Boston’s South End. Pair your Franciacorta with a seasonally updated menu of pizza, pasta, outstanding charcuterie and fresh produce sourced from “local friends.”

Market 17, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Proving that the country’s biggest cities do not have a monopoly on locavore dining, Chef Lauren Shields at Market 17 has made Fort Lauderdale a regional leader in sustainable dining. The native Floridian is convinced that consumer education is the key to encouraging more people to make responsible food choices. Owners Kirsta and Aaron Grauberger – a brother and sister team of sommeliers – are pleased to share their dedication to sourcing in an extensive beverage program, with plenty of biodynamic and organic options, including Barone Pizzini Rosé.  

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Cause for adultery? Barone Pizzini 2009 Franciacorta Rosé Brut & NV Franciacorta Brut

According to WineSearcher.com, both of these wines are available at a few retailers in New York.

barone pizzini rose

Made from 100% Pinot Nero grapes, the Barone Pizzini 2009 Franciacorta Rosé Brut is one of my personal favorites in the winery’s portfolio.

Last year, when I tasted the 2010 with the winery’s general manager, Silvano Brescianini, I told him that “my wife could possibly cheat on me with this wine.” It’s just so good and so decadent.

Last night, when we opened the 2009, paired with some gardiniera and lightly toasted bread, the fruit had that Technicolor quality that you only find in organically raised wines like this. It was that brilliant.

Red berry and even some white fruit notes, held together with a beautiful, delicate salinity (a hallmark of great Franciacorta). The wine was as good in on the nose and on the palate as it was gorgeous to behold in the glass.

Spectacular wine.

barone pizzini franciacorta brut

The non-vintage Franciacorta Brut is made mostly from Chardonnay with a smaller amount of Pinot Nero.

Most hold that Chardonnay is one of the world’s most transparent grapes and that no variety better expresses the character of the terroir where the wine is raised.

To my palate, this wine was a perfect example of that. Fresh and bright on the nose and on the palate, it had that subtle herbaceous character that — in my experience — sets the wines of Franciacorta apart from Italy’s other classic-method wines.

I’m a terrible blind taster, but I could have easily picked this out as Franciacorta were I forced to taste it blind.

A superb example of what Franciacorta should be and a great wine for the classic lake fish dishes they serve there.

I loved both of them and highly recommend them to you.

Jeremy Parzen
blog master

Franco Ziliani @VinoAlVino reviews 08 Franciacorta Rosé for Cucchiaio.it

franco ziliani franciacorta

The following translation is from top Italian wine writer Franco Ziliani’s review of the Barone Pizzini 2008 Franciacorta Rosé for Cucchiaio.it, one of Italy’s leading online food and wine resources:

[Barone Pizzini’s Franciacorta Rosé 2008] was declared ‘the best organic wine in the world’ at the International Wine Challenge [in London] 2012

Made from 80% Pinot Nero and 20% Chardonnay sourced from vineyards named Ciosèt, Troso, Prada, and Santella Nord, the wine is aged on its leeds for 34 months. It doesn’t touch wood, unlike other high-profile Franciacorta rosés that receive the “kiss of death” imparted by barrique aging, which cancels out any pleasure in drinking the wine. Despite the pronounced structure in this wine, it’s also endowed with notable freshness and drinkability.

Gorgeous color, an ancient rose, like a light cerasuolo, with brilliant sparkle and delicate and persistent fizziness, as the bubbles chase after one another in a wide glass.

Unmistakably Franciacorta in character, this wine is a thoroughbred. On the nose, it delivers the juicy, meaty fruit that you typically find in this appellation, raspberry and currants but with layers of citrus (pink grapefruit and mandarin orange), hints of rose that complement aromas that are generous but judiciously smooth, yet fresh and vibrantly salty.

In the mouth, it’s satisfying and indulgent, with good plumpness and substance. The bubbles are creamy and rich, making for wine that is more generous and substantial than vertical. Great balance in play here, with calibrated mouthfeel and flavor. And even though the persistence of the bubbles is marked, the nervy acidity and pronounced flavorfulness shine through.

A fine rosé, to be enjoyed generously at the dinner table.