Thursday, February 16, 2012

The 1 Star Michelin Food of Chef Stefano Cerveni from the due colombe Ristorante and the Premium Sparklers of il Mosnel, Franciacorta - Wining and Dining at il Mosnel, Italy

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Chef Stefano Cerveni from due colombe

The 4th European Wine Bloggers’ Conference was held in Brescia with the Consortium of Franciacorta, the local sparkling wine, as the main sponsor. During the conference, I participated in an evening visit of il Mosnel di Emanuela Barboglio e Figli in Camignone di Passirano, which included a gorgeous dinner prepared by1 star Michelin Chef Stefano Cerveni from due colombe.

I have already posted on the evening with a focus on the sparklers of il Mosnel: The Premium Sparklers of il Mosnel, Franciacorta, Italy

This posting focuses on the dinner.


Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc are the 3 grape varieties of Franciacorta. Chardonnay is the most important one, accounting for 85% in terms of plantings. Pinot Noir (10%) and Pinot Blanc (5%) follow with a sizable distance. The designations for dosage are exactly as those of Champagne.

Unlike the Champagne region, which can look back to several centuries of fame, Franciacorta’s history is very short. It started only 50 years ago, when Franco Ziliani produced a couple of thousand bottles of a sparkling wine for the Guido Berlucchi winery, which sold very well. It sold so well, that over night, the region of Franciacorta was born and the well-equipped and architecturally varied wineries we know today sprang up within a short period of time to establish the region.

There are 5 main types of Franciacorta sparklers:

Franciacorta – Chardonnay and/or Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco up to 50% of the blend. Even this regular non-vintage wines need to be aged on lees for 18 months, and then in bottle for further 7 months. Can come at different dosage levels.

Franciacorta Satén – Must be a Blanc de blancs with only the use of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco permitted. Possibly the most approachable and unique style in Franciacorta, with lower (4.5 atmospheres of pressure instead of 6) pressure and therefore creamier feeling of bubbles. Must be aged 24 months (almost half as much again as Champagne's requirement). Always brut. Saten is a Chardonnay-dominated, creamy, soft-textured wine with fine mousse and restrained perlage.

Franciacorta Rose – Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero (at least 25%). Can come at different dosage levels. A Franciacorta Rose must contain at least 15% Pinot Nero.

Franciacorta Millesimato (Vintage) – At least 85% of the grapes must come from the same vintage. Aging period increases to 35 months. Can come at different dosage levels.

Franciacorta Riserva – This is a Millesimato, although it may also be a Saten or Rose. Needs to be aged on lees for 60 months, and then in bottle for further 7 months. Can come at all dosage levels.

There are about 200 producers in Franciacorta, with a total output of 13 million bottles. The total vineyard area of Franciacorta is 3000 hectares. As opposed to Champagne, there are no big Estates in Franciacorta, which buy grapes from other producers. Franciacorta producers own vineyard land and grow the grapes they need for their sparkles themselves. Production of a Franciacorta producer rarely exceeds 400,000 bottles. One exception is Guido Berluccio, the largest producer, accounting for 1.5 million bottles of Franciacorta (in addition, Guido Berluccio produces 2.5 million other sparkling wine). 85% of Franciacorta is sold in the country.

Franciacorta is not sparklers only. In the same area, still wines are also produced, both white and red, under the appellation Terre di Franciacorta (or Curtefranca). The red Terre di Franciacorta is produced with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Nebbiolo and Barbera grapes.

An Evening at il Mosnel

In the heart of Franciacorta, in Camignone di Passirano, lies the historic villa of il Mosnel with its 16th-century wine cellars and surrounding properties that the Barboglio family inherited in 1836. Directing il Mosnel di Emanuela Barboglio e Filgli today is the fifth generation of winegrowers, the children of Emanuela Barboglio. Giulio Barzanò oversees production and sales, while Lucia Barzanò directs marketing, external relations, and administration. Emanuela Barboglio was in 1968 one of the first to produce DOC Franciacorta sparklers. She passed away in 2007.

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Giulio Barzanò and Lucia Barzanò

In 1976 the name of the winery was changed from Azienda Agricola Barzanò Barboglio to the current il Mosnel, a local dialect word, of Celtic origin, that means "heap of stones." Il Mosnel produces 250,000 bottles a year with Franciacorta accounting for 90%.

Il Mosnel has 40 hectares of vineyard area, of which 38 hectares under the Franciacorta DOCG. 35 hectares of the Franciacorta DOCG are planted with Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay; the rest with Pinot Noir. The (remaining) DOC vineyards are planted with Cabernet (Franc and Sauvignon) and Merlot for the production of red wine. The vineyards are all around the winery. Everything is hand-picked using a team of 60-70 pickers.

Wining and Dining with Lucia Barzano and Stefano Cerveni

The dinner was fabulous. It was prepared by Chef Stefano Cerveni from due colombe in Brescia, who was awarded 1 Michelin star in 2008. Lucia poured her il Mosnel sparklers. Here is what we ate and drank.

Pictures: Chef Stefano Cerveni


Benvenuto con Fantasia di Piccoli Antipasti “dalla Terra al Mare” – Welcome with a fantasy of small appetizers

Cialdi Croccanti di grana padano – Crispy waffles with grana padano cheese

Caprese liquida, sedano croccante, olio al basilica – Fluid caprese, crispy celery, basil oil

Purea morbid di patate su ragu di Pestom – Soft mashed potatoes on Pestum meat sauce

Zuppetta di cozze in brodetto di zenzero e zafferano – Mussels soup with ginger and saffron stock

Roll croccante di tonno in salsa di soia e miele – Crispy tuna roll with soya and honey sauce

Tartare di salmon affumicato da noi “al cucchiaio” – Homemade smoked salmon tartar in a spoon

Il Mosnel Franciacorta Pas Dose

We started with the Il Mosnel pas dose, a blend of 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Bianco and 10% Pinot Noir. This cuvée spends 30 months on the lees. It has subtle full bouquet, crisp and dry on the palate, elegant texture, long-lasting mousse with extremely tiny bubbles.

Primo Piatto

Primo piatto: Risotto mantecato ai pistilli di zafferano, burrata pugliese e pulvere di liquirizia natural – Risotto with safflon pistil, burrata from Puglia and natural dried liquorices

Il Mosnel Franciacorta Brut Saten 2007

Produced exclusively from Chardonnay, partly fermented in stainless steel and in small oak barrels, the Brut Satèn has a dosage of 8 gm per liter and a little less pressure than the other Franciacorta sparklers. At least 30 months on the lees. A rich bouquet with some hints of vanilla, the leisurely mousse caresses the palate with great finesse.

Secondo Piatto

Secondo piatto: Vitello ‘al cubo”, demi – glace al Franciacorta, pure di patate al rosmarino – Fillet veal, demi – glace with Franciacorta, mashed potatoes rosemary flavored

Il Mosnel Franciacorta Rose Brut

A very attractive Rosé Brut, made from 20% Chardonnay fermented in small oak barrels, 20% Chardonnay fermented in stainless steel, 20% Pinot Blanc fermented in steel and 40% Pinot Noir fermented in steel after a brief maceration on the skins, which gives the typical pink colour.

Prettily pink with lots of red fruit flavors and enough acidity in the finish to be refreshing, quite elegantly toasty and spicy.


Semifreddo al miele d’acacia, nocciole caramellate, olio extravergine – Semifreddo with acacia honey, caramelized hazelnuts, extra-virgine oil

Il Mosnel IGT Sebino Passito Sulif 2009

In addition to its Franciacorta ultra-premium sparklers, il Mosnel also makes (1) Curtefranca Bianco DOC, a wine made of 60% Pinot Blanc and 40% Chardonnay, (2) Curtefranca Rosso DOC, a red wine composed of 25% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Nebbiolo and 10% Barbera and the IGT Sebino Passito Sulif. The latter is produced solely from Chardonnay grapes that were dried for several months before fermentation. The grapes loose over 50% of their moisture during the drying period; this is then followed by a long, slow fermentation, in small barrels. Straw wines are typically sweet wines, capable of long life, but do not have to be sweet.

DUE COLOMBE Ristorante Al Borgo Antico
via Foresti 13 - 25046 Borgonato di Cortefranca - Brescia
Tel. +39 030 9828227 | Fax +39 030 9848772

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Christian! how are you?
    i've seen the posting, beautiful!
    thank you very much, hoping to see you in future in my restaurant...