Review: NV Berlucchi ’61 Extra Brut Franciacorta

Review: NV Berlucchi ’61 Extra Brut Franciacorta

The name of this wine is admittedly a bit confusing: the year listed does not refer to when it was bottled. Franciacorta first became a Designation of Origin in 1967, but it was a few years earlier, in 1961, when Berlucchi vineyards succeeded in making an outstanding vintage of sparkling wine in the French style. This is why ’61 appears in the name of several of their wines today, even though they’re nonvintage bottlings. The nonvintage Extra Brut is made with 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Nero, aged 24 months on the lees.

The extended time on the lees is immediately apparent on the nose, which has a lovely note of yeasty bread along with light, lemon citrus and granny smith apple. The palate follows suit, with yeast, lemon, and subtle apple. The bubbles are pronounced and the flavor of the wine doesn’t quite stand up to them. Paired with food, the wine improves as the bubbles and the wine’s high acidity find something to work on, and I recommend pouring this wine with chèvre or pasta with cream sauce.

B / $30 /

NV Berlucchi ’61 Extra Brut Franciacorta




Robert Lublin teaches whisk(e)y and wine appreciation classes for Arlington Community Education, near Boston, MA. He is also a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston and has published books and articles on Shakespeare as well as theatre and film history.

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