Bellavista is arguably Italy’s finest producer of sparkling wine. Its vintage and non-vintage méthode champenoise wines exhibit great elegance and finesse and rank among the best sparkling wines of the world. Our reviews of current releases of Bellavista are given below. This is the first in a series of International Wine Review articles on the best sparkling wines of the world, just in time for the Holidays.
Located in the province of Brescia in the Franciacorta appellation, Bellavista was founded in 1976 by Vittorio Moretti. Today, Bellavista has 190 hectares of estate vineyards, many with excellent hillside exposures. It sources its grapes from 60 different vineyard sites and vinifies them separately in tanks and small used oak barrels. The wines are made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Bianco using both reserve wines and new vintages. Riddling is done by hand. Its élevage was recently increased from 36 to 48 months.
Tasting Notes and Ratings
Bellavista Cuvée Brut Lombardy ($45) 91
The Cuvée Brut is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero. The perfumed nose boasts orchard fruit, biscuit, and marzipan. It is rich and leesy on the creamy plate, with a fine mousse and lively layers of flavor. It is beautifully balanced and has a crisp, dry delicate finish.
Bellavista 2005 Gran Cuvée Brut Lombardy ($70) 94
Yellow gold in color, the Gran Cuvée Brut is a blend of 72% Chardonnay and 28% Pinot Nero; part of the blend is aged in small oak barrels for seven months. The wine is mouth filling and creamy in texture with great depth and sweetness of fruit flavors. Rich and complex with brioche on the nose, it shows light autolytic flavors on the palate along with toasted hazelnut, orange zest, and honey. Superb!!
Bellavista 2006 Gran Cuvée Rosé Brut Lombardy ($70) 92
The Gran Cuvée Rosé displays a beautiful light copper hue and a complex autolytic nose with dried cherry and brioche notes. A blend of 55% Pinot Nero and 45% Chardonnay, it offers bold flavors but is refined and elegant on the palate with a persistent finish.
Bellavista Gran Cuvée Satèn Lombardy ($75) 93
The refined, soft and feminine Cuvée Satén is made of 100% Chardonnay. The grapes are sourced from a single vintage and from the best parcels of old hillside vineyards. It exhibits a light straw color and has a perfumed nose of orchard fruit and brioche. It is rich and creamy on the elegant palate with great depth of flavor.
Previous reviews and ratings of Bellavista and other Italian sparkling wines are available in the International Wine Review Report #14 The World of Sparkling Wines and Champagnes.