The Biondelli family estate of 10ha is located in Bornato di Cazzago San Martino, an ancient town nestled at the heart of Franciacorta, in the Italian region of Lombardy, on young, nutrient poor morainic soils that are ideal for naturally controlling the yields of his grapes.
The centre of the wine estate lies in a 16th century farmhouse located in front of the historic medieval castle of Bornato (today’s villa Orlando) and at the inception of the charming Longarone Valley, settled in-between the villages of Bornato, Cazzago San Martino and Calino. It’s the same places where in 1438, during the war between the Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Venice for the control of the territories of Brescia and Bergamo, the troops from Milan under the command of Nicolò Piccinino fought against the venetians soldiers lead by Antonio Martinengo from Brescia and Erasmo da Narni, better known as “ Gattamelata” (one of the greatest military leaders of the Italian Renaissance).
The estate, known as “Breda” (a term deriving from the Latin “proedium” or from the Lombard “braida” and which indicates an estate consisting of different pieces of land distributed around a central farmhouse), was acquired during the aftermath of the second world war by Giuseppe Biondelli, Italian Ambassador tobe and Italian Consul General in Innsbruck (Austria) at that time.
As a matter of fact, prior to becoming property of Ambassador Giuseppe Biondelli, the estate belonged to Count Alessandro Fè d’Ostiani (1825-1905), Senator of the Italian Kingdom and Minister Plenipotentiary (a Diplomatic Envoy) in China, Japan, Brazil, Belgium and Greece. The estate then passed down to his daughter Paolina who married Count Charles Jean Tristan de Montholon Sémonville (1843-1899) who was also a diplomat and became French Ambassador to Switzerland. These traces of a glorious past that saw Bornato as a crossroad of European diplomacy for a century, set the foundation for the will and aspiration of the Biondelli family to bring the wines of Franciacorta far beyond national borders.
The ancient farmhouse has been completely restored and further developed, with the construction of an underground wine cellar, in order to establish a modern structure to vinify expertly the different types of grapes: only Chardonnay for Franciacorta Brut and Satèn spumante, while the black grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Nebbiolo and Barbera are for the still Curtefranca Rosso.
Today Carlottavio, son of Giuseppe Biondelli, along with his wife Mariella and his sons Francesco and Joska, runs the wine business with passion and devotion. In particular Joska, fresh from his own ‘diplomatic’ service abroad as a London headhunter, has returned to realize the dream initiated by his father in 2000. The first vintage to be bottled was in 2009.
> Certified organic.
NV Franciacorta Brut, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino
NV Franciacorta Satèn, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino
Vintage Franciacorta Rose Millesimato ‘Donna Clemy’, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino
Vintage Franciacorta Millesimato ‘Premiere Dame’, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino
NV Franciacorta Brut, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino – tasted March’18 (served in a traditional Maria Antoinette coupe!), 13%, c.40k bts, vintage 2015 bottled in May ’16, sboccatura Nov’17, hence 18 mths ‘sur lattes’, dosage ZERO grams/litro using must not sugar, no oak (anywhere), 15mg So2, 100% Chardonnay from estate vineyards; no Saten produced in 2015, so the Chardonnay was diverted into the Brut. Biscuity, apply core fresh, cool crunch, svelte, aniseed, white flower & pepper refinement, suppler & more cassis, less acidic than the cooler Brut 2014. Very easy on the eye.
NV Franciacorta Brut, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino – 12.5%, c.10k bts, vintage 2014 bottled in May ’15, dosage 2 grams/litro using fresh must not sugar, no oak (anywhere), 15mg So2: more fruit expressive than in the past, in part due to using fresh must during 2nd ferment & less yeast expressive, candied lemon zest, licorice, succulent, rich buttery lemon, expansive, emphatic, the finest Brut Joska has to date made!
NV Franciacorta Satèn, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino – tasted March ’18, 12%, c.10k bts, vintage 2014 bottled Jan’18, dosage ZERO grams/litro RS (vs permitted 8-10g/litro for DOC), 100% Chardonnay; fascinating comparison with the (2015) Brut. Perhaps it’s the vintage difference, cooler 2014 vs warmer 2015, hence higher acid, & the lower alcohol (12% vs. 13%), or that Joska’s Saten is made from only the finest, 1st pressing juice…but it feels more energetic, more pulse, with distinct tiglio/lime flower, Alpine herb freshness, tight, crisp, meringue, firm, salty finish…
NV Franciacorta Satèn, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino – 12.5%, c.10k bts, vintage 2013 bottled May ’14, dosage 1-3 grams/litro RS (vs permitted 8-10g/litro for DOC), 100% Chardonnay (total Pinot Bianco plantings in Franciacorta have dropped to approx 4%): pale, pretty lime sherbet colour, austero, racy, more ethereal than the Brut due to only using 1st pressing juice (most delicate), palate’s meringue fresh, salty, more frizzante than spumante so great with food such as sweet water, Alpine fish Salmerino or Coregone.
2013 Franciacorta Rose Millesimato ‘Donna Clemy’, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino – tasted March ’18; first released in 2011 in limited quantities, named after Joska’s ‘nonna’/grandmother, Clemy, 100% Pinot Nero from his Ronco & Basso Ronco vineyards, macerated for 3/4 hrs, only 3k bts made & alas none produced in 2014 or 2015! Zero dosaggio, minty cool, white stone structure, sweet cassis, very fine & delizioso!
2011 Franciacorta Millesimato ‘Premiere Dame’ Brut, Bornato di Cazzago San Martino – c.3k bts, bottled May ’12, disgorged Nov’16 after 52 mths on lees, this is Joska’s debut Premiere Dame vintage, the fruit for which stems from ‘La Nave’ vyd nearby, & they use only 5-18% of the pressing for this ‘Cuvee’, While the Brut & Saten accent is on the fruit, Premiere Dame looks to bring out the developed expression of Chardonnay, facilitated by low So2 levels. It is indeed richly expressive of patisserie, butter, marmalade, marzipan, candied fruit, orange peel, grown up, open & immensely complex & rewarding. No PD made in 2012, 2013 (if perhaps a PD Saten) but then there will be one in 2014, not 2015 but yes in 2016!