I met with Michaela Muratori of Villa Crespia to hear the story of this family-owned winery. It’s a medium-sized operation, making some 300 000 bottles. The family business is cotton yarn. Michaela explained how her grandfather started the business in the 1950s when Italian cotton was important in the fashion business. Now their business buys cotton from all over the world, because the Italian fashion industry uses globally sourced cotton.
Villa Crespia began in 1999. ‘The idea was making our passion our business,’ says Michaela. They focus solely on sparkling wine from Franciacorta. ‘To make this wine you need a lot of money,’ she says. ‘It is capital intensive.’
Since 2020, famed winemaker Ricardo Cotarella has been associated with the business, and his team works with them in a consultancy capacity. ‘Cotarella had the idea of making a super-Franciacorta,’ she says. ‘He thinks the liqueur is 30% of the quality potential of the wine, and 70% is the harvest.’ For this reason, they have been giving a lot of attention to the composition of the liqueur d’exposition, which is the wine added at disgorgement stage to top the bottles up.
They have 57 hectares of vines altogether. They have been organic since 2015. ‘Franciacorta is a rainy place,’ says Michaela, ‘and it is not easy to be organic.’
One of the features of these wines is their stylish packaging, which is taken in a very bold direction with the blue-bottled Millè.
Villa Crespia Novalia Franciacorta Brut NV
100% Chardonnay, 18 months on lees. Based on the 2018 vintage, 6 g/l dosage. Very fresh and bright with clean, pure lemony fruit. Crisp, tart and dry with a sort of transparency. A pure, linear style. 89/100
Villa Crespia Simbiotico Franciacorta Brut NV
2018 base, no added sulfites. Bold fruit, with apples and pears, as well as some spice. Has nice crystalline citrus fruit with good acidity. Nice fruit focus with some salty hints, fine spices and a touch of apple. 91/100
Villa Crespia Franciacorta Millè Millesimato 2014
Chardonnay with five years on the lees. This bottle has a blue sleeve. 6 g/l dosage, with some old vines in the liqueur. Taut, lemony and linear with bright acidity and focused fruit. Juicy and fresh, and still quite linear. There’s purity here and a crystalline finish. 90/100
Villa Crespia Cisiola Franciacorta Zero Dosage NV
Pinot Noir with 18 months on lees. Cisiola is a medieval term that refers to sparkling wines from red grapes. 2018 base. Delicate cherries and almonds on the nose with a palate that shows bright lemons, tangerines and a touch of cherry. Nice finesse here with a great acid line. 91/100
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com
- An introduction to Franciacorta, with some top wine recommendations
- Franciacorta: Ca’ del Bosco
- Franciacorta: Cortefusia
- Franciacorta: Corteaura
- Franciacorta: Villa Crespia