Sometimes, an Italian wine comes along that’s so good that it almost literally knocks your socks off. These are the wines that go beyond being good quality. They’re simply experiences that you’re privileged enough to enjoy during your short time on Earth.
It is these truly spectacular wines that people remember many years after they first appeared on the scene. The very first vintage of Tignanello springs to mind as an amazing wine that stuck in the memory.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at a wine that stands a chance of being remembered for years to come. If nothing else, the Xtrawine team all agrees that this is a wine that everybody should go out of their way to experience.
What wine are we talking about?
The Ballabio Farfalla Metodo Classico Extra Brut!
And what makes this wine even more spectacular is that it doesn’t put a huge dent in your wallet. For less than €20, you can get your hands on what of the most delicious wines that our team has experienced in quite some time…
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Of course, we’re going to dig into what makes this such a beautiful wine a little later in the review. But first, we ought to shine a bit of a spotlight on the producer that made it – Ballabio.
Ballabio may not be one of the first companies that comes to mind when you think of great Italian wine producers, though we have to say that the name rolls quite beautifully off the tongue.
But a little exploration into the company’s history shows that it has over a century’s worth of experience crafting some truly delectable wines.
The company was founded in 1905 and it markets itself as one of the first Italian wineries to use the traditional sparkling method. That may give you a hint as to the nature of the wine that we’re going to review a little later.
Angelo Ballabio was the great man who founded the company. By all accounts, he was part of a rare breed of men who seem to be universally loved. In the Lombardy region, he was referred to fondly as the “country doctor” of wine thanks to his unparalleled expertise. However, he didn’t allow all of this praise to go to his head. Instead, Angelo focused his efforts on crafting gorgeous wines that he would be able to share with all.
A prodigious learner, Angelo loved few things more than to discover new things about the industry that he fell in love with. This dedication to education shined through in the wines that he created. And it also allows him to lay the groundwork for what his company would become over 100 years later.
But even in his own time, Angelo received plenty of recognition for his work. From 1911 onwards, Ballabio began receiving both domestic and international awards for its wine. And today, the company aims to continue that tradition of excellence to honour the great man that founded it.
One of the keys to Ballabio’s success is the company’s adherence to a strict code of ethics. To become renowned as one of the great Italian wine producers, a winemakers must not allow their personal code to lapse.
There is no danger of this at Ballabio, where the company’s code of ethics is made as transparent as possible on its website.
Since its founding, the company has always tried to minimise its use of plant protection products and unnatural fertilisers. In that way, Angelo Ballabio was ahead of his time. While so many producers at the turn of the 20thcentury tried to find ways to ramp up production, he understood that the quality of his land played a huge role in the quality of his wines. And to maintain the high standards that he’d created, he would need to ensure that land remained in good condition for years to come.
We’ve seen many producers adopt a similar stance in recent years, which has resulted in the rise of the organic and biodynamic trends. But Angelo understood what many other producers didn’t during a time when words like “biodynamic” did not even exist.
Naturally, the company goes to great lengths to protect its land in the modern day.
Careful monitoring of both the grapes and the wine during production are also hallmarks of the Ballabio production method. This is not a company that wants to squeeze the most product out of its harvest. Each grape in a Ballabio wine has been carefully selected. And each vintage that they create was made under the watchful eyes of people who have learned well from over 100 years of knowledge.
This code ensures that every wine that Ballabio produces is of an exceptionally high quality. However, the wine that we’re about to look at may be one of the best that the company has ever produced.
The Ballabio Farfalla Metodo Classico Extra Brut
It is far too easy to think that Italian sparkling wines start and end with Prosecco. But in the Ballabio Farfalla Metodo Classico Extra Brut, we have a sparkling wine that easily stacks up against any Prosecco on the current market. We may even argue that it surpasses almost all of them!
Pouring the wine reveals a gorgeous creamy colouring with a very active fizz. The bubbles bounce around the glass as though they’re possessed, which is just a small indication of the ride that this wine will take you on.
The perfectly balanced bouquet is another highlight. Notes of peach and pear dominate the aroma, with more subtle notes of fresh bread and roasted nuts creating a fine balance that is always in place.
To the taste, the wine is wonderfully refreshing. The fruity notes will wash over your tongue and the citrus sensations will give you the tingles. But it is perhaps the persistent aftertaste that stands out the most.
You will not be able to resist another sip after you’ve introduced this wine to your palette.
At least, that’s the opinion of the Xtrawine team. We were so impressed with this vintage that we gave it a rating of 97/100.
No wine is perfect.
But in the Ballabio Farfalla Metodo Classico Extra Brut, you have a wine that is very, very close.