One hundred and eighty years, five generations, 1876 to present. From Azienda Agricola Barzanò Barboglio to Il Mosnel and finally, simply Mosnel. It all started in in a sixteenth-century villa with vineyards and cellars that was inherited by Rosina Rosa Cacciamatta in the town of Camignone, in the heart of Franciacorta. Rosina is the grandmother of the maternal grandfather of Lucia and Giulio Barzanò, the siblings who now proudly carry the name Mosnel. It’s a family with a long history of viticulture that both brother and sister continue with great passion that their mother, Emanuela Barboglio has instilled in them.
As I write this blog post, the hardbound coffee-table book of Mosnel is open beside me. It was given to me when I went to the winery for a wine tour and however heavy my bag was, I put it inside and carried it all the way from Brescia to Milan and finally to Rome. Why? Because it is beautiful – the photographs, the words and the meaning that they want to convey.
For Giulio and Lucia, the book represents something deeply-ingrained more than the roots of the vines in their soil.
It’s a photographic memorabilia of brother and sister recounting their childhood days with their mother, their pillar in Mosnel, growing up completely immersed in the world of viticulture. It’s about the aroma they smell in the villa and vineyards they call home, the tension they feel from the older members of the family when bad weather breaks out and how the grapes will survive, the natural knowledge of growing vines and the beautiful connection they have with winemaking. Because for them, their Franciacorta is not just a bottle of wine but a bottle of emotions.
Franciacorta is the sparkling wine that has been produced in Franciacorta since the sixteenth century but only in the 1950s did the winemakers pick up on its production again after understanding the potentiality of making the region in making sparkling wines again.
For Mosnel, 1975 was a memorable year when their Pinot of Mosnel produced with the Charmat Method won the gold medal in a wine competition.
In 1979, they produced their first sparkling wine produced with the Metodo Classico. And with that, 1980 saw the beginning of a new era for Mosnel with the creation of their first cuvèe bearing the name Franciacorta Extra Brut, an achievement that would permanently imprint the style of the winery. (source: Mosnel 180°).
I have tried Mosnel Franciacorta on some occasions and I have always found elegance in their wines. Persistent with fine bubbles, fresh fruits and floral notes, their Franciacortas are such pleasure to have in the glass. So in my very first winery visit in Franciacorta which was a part of a press tour during my visit there last March, imagine my excitement when I read the word Mosnel as soon as our bus went inside the gate of the winery.
After a guided tour of the winery where the Metodo Classico was explained (how timely also because it was just our lesson in our sommelier class), we walked through the seventh century cellar made of tuff and out into the gardens. I saw thousands of bottles of wines lined up against the walls in the dark as they rest with the tranquility inside the cellar, I almost tiptoed my way out of the long tunnel to leave them in their quiet slumber. Those were future excellent bottles to be popped open soon.
In the tasting room, we had a selection of four of these wines:
Brut Franciacorta DOCG. 60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Bianco, and 10% Pinot Nero. It has notes of elderflower and hawthorn, citrus fruits, and herbs. Perlage is persistent with fine bubbles.
Nature Franciacorta DOCG. 70% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Bianco, and 10% Pinot Nero. Brilliant with persistent perlage, fresh citrus fruit and floral aromas with notes of grapefruit, hawthorn, honeysuckle and verbena.
Saten Franciacorta Millesimato. 100% Chardonnay. Thirty months of aging with colex aromas of flowers, citrus fruits, herbs and bread. Notes of orange, jasmine, star anise, pepper, bread and butter.
EBB 2012 Franciacorta Extra Brut DOCG. 100% Chardonnay. This wine is their tribute to the founder Emanuela Barzanò Barboglio every grape harvest, who first outlined the winery’s idea of Franciacorta based on the characteristics of the vineyards and the potentiality of the territory. Only the best hand-picked Chardonnay grapes are used then left to mature in small oak barrels for 36 months. It has fresh notes of mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, sage, and almonds.
Parosé 2011 Franciacorta DOCG. 60% Pinot Nero and 40% Chardonnay. It has interesting fruit and floral notes of orange peel, rhubarb, red currants, hazelnuts, and pink pepper.
There is a sentence that, many years ago, we decided to include under each capsule that protects the cork in our Franciacorta: it is then covered by the wire hood in the moment when, after so many months, the bottles are ready to leave our cellars: since 1836, time and experience have taught us how to transform our grapes into emotions.
-Lucia and Giulio Barzanò