We’re closing in towards the end of the competition we’re running to give away a Lazenne WineCheck of 12 bottles of amazing Piemontese wines. This week it’s time to highlight the work and wines of our penultimate winemaker, Fabrizio Francone from Neive, whose vineyards are a great place to tour and taste great wines!
Neive’s one of the three villages that make up the overall region where Barbaresco gets made. Known as the Queen of Italian reds, it’s all about delicacy much more than the powerful heavyweights of Barolo. But it’s not just a load of Barbarescos they’ve kindly donated…
This is Fabrizio’s star wine. I’m biased cos I’m much more of a Barbaresco man than a Barolo guy, and I love Neive as a village. Put the two together and he’s got a friend for life if he wants one! Expect soft cherry fruit, game meat, leather, and a lovely long finish. I like these with with rare steak or on it’s own.
On soils that are otherwise hallowed Barbaresco territory, Barbera thrives! It’s Piemonte’s most popular red grape, mostly because it goes great with so many different foods. When you have one from an area like this they have this gorgeous elegance about them. Nothing sticks out, the fruit, the tannin, the acidity, all go together just fabulously.
There are many reasons why people make a Nebbiolo rather than a Barbaresco. It could be because they plant them on vineyards outside the region? Or maybe because they ran out of the DOCG labels you have to buy from the government? In this case it’s because these are young vines and he’s going for a fresher, fuller wine. So completing a hat trick of very different reds here.
So those were the wines, here’s what Fabrizio has to say for himself!
Can you tell us a little bit about the wines our winner will be getting from you?
Certainly! Let’s start with our ‘all-around wine’, Francone Barbera d’Alba Superiore, from the typical Piedmontese grape of Barbera. It goes well with a lot of different foods, from tapas to red meat or even spicy dishes; it taste good young or medium-aged. Our Barbera is fruity and full-bodied but not too tannic or heavy.
We think of Francone Langhe Nebbiolo as Piemonte in the glass. It’s light ruby in color with a complex bouquet and a full-bodied dry finish. It’s like a good friend, you need time to understand it, but you’ll never leave it!
Francone Barbaresco Riserva is the quintessence of Nebbiolo grapes in our hills. The wine in this bottle is where time matters. Not every vintage is good enough for Riserva. You need time to let it evolve in oak barrels and refine in the bottle. Great food and large glasses are necessary. When everything is perfect you can enjoy a really great wine!
What’s the best tip you can give someone on enjoying wine?
- Don’t drink the labels! Choose what’s inside the bottle!
- Find a friend that can give you good advice, read and learn, but finally choose the wine that you love!
- The glass is so important!
You’ve got a weekend In Piemonte. What would you do?
Piemonte is so big and there are so many places to visit. Explore the mountains, lakes, historical sites, and of course the vineyard hills. I suggest a weekend in the UNESCO sites. Go up to the Tower of Barbaresco to take in the landscape. Try the trekking path to the historical village of Neive in Barbaresco and have a typical aperitivo in a different wine bar. Make sure to experience the drive to Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte through the hills of Barolo. Enjoy the sunset in Monforte with the view on the Alps! Finish the day with a wonderful Piemontese dinner at Villa D’Amelia.
And, if you have some time, visit us at Francone. We’d love to welcome you for a tasting.
If you weren’t a winemaker, what would you be?
I would be a car designer! When I was child I enjoyed designing cars. I spent a lot of time designing and making models with sand, dough, gum. Today’s cars have such boring designs. There are cars everywhere, so I think if cars were more beautiful, the world would be more beautiful.
So there you go folks, car designer, what a job that’d be! I’m just glad he’s making wine 🙂 Make sure you follow the link at the bottom to sign up and enter the competition to win a Lazenne Winecheck filled with these and other fantastic wines from Piemonte!
SIGN UP FOR THE GREAT PIEMONTE GIVEAWAY HERE
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Terms and Conditions
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. ONLINE ENTRY ONLY. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. States and D.C., the UK, and other countries where wine can be shipped from Italy. Ages 21 and older. The Sweepstakes Period begins on February 3, 2016 and ends at 11:59PM PT on March 17, 2016. There is a limit of one (1) entry, per person throughout the Sweepstakes Period.