World Class Sparkling Wine for Your Holiday Table

 


Italy is well known for many things and one of them is an inordinate number of different wine grapes. The variety (400-500) is practically dizzying. That sort of diversity is also present in Italian sparkling wine where a number of traditions persist. One of the best known is Prosecco. These wines are made with the Glera grape and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Other parts of Italy use a combination of methods to create their sparkling wines. But there’s only one Ferrari, the jewel of Trento DOC (an appellation for white and rosé sparkling wine made in Trentino, Italy), also known as Trentodoc or sometimes TrentoDOC.  Ferrari has been making sparkling wine in Trento since 1902. Founder Giulio Ferrari, having no heirs, sold the winery to his best customer Bruno Lunelli in 1952. Ferrari has been part of the Lunelli Family ever since. As you start thinking about buying those tremendously important sparkling wine bottles this December, take a journey with me into the magic of Ferrari.

I spent the better part of a week visiting Ferrari and had the opportunity to see their production facility and vineyards as well as sample all of their offerings in multiple settings. What’s most apparent is that the truest comparison to Ferrari sparkling wine is Champagne. In using only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown in ideal conditions and producing their wines using the classic method they have set themselves as a class leader in sparkling wine.
The top tier isn’t the only place the wines of Ferrari shine. Starting with the entry level Brut, each of the wines easily over-delivers quality for its price point. Some such as the 2009 vintage Perlé at under $40 is a stunning value that far outclasses just about any sparkling wine I can think of in the under $75 price range.  Ferrari is doing an impressive job producing wines of character and loaded with terroir that are suitable, yes for celebrations, but also with food. Ferrari wines are eminently food friendly, complex and simply delicious. Here’s a look at some current offerings.

Ferrari Brut Trentodoc (NV) ($25)

Their entry level wine is produced entirely from Chardonnay which spends 24 months or more on the lees. Fresh flowers and bits of toast mark the nose. Yellow fruits, including golden delicious apples dominate the palate, Lemon zest, bits of vanilla and more are part of the soft, gentle finish. If you’re seeking out an everyday sparkling wine, look no further, this has everything you would want and a great price to boot.

Ferrari Rosé Trentodoc (NV) ($35)

This Rosé is produced from a combination of Pinot Noir (60%), and Chardonnay (40%). It spends at least 24 months on the lees. Strawberries and hints of vanilla dominate the nose. The palate is studded with a cornucopia of fresh, red berry fruits. Bing cherry and wild strawberry are of note. Hints of biscuit and crème fraiche are apparent on above average finish. This wine will pair with an astounding array of food styles.

Ferrari 2009 Perlé Trentodoc ($38)

Perlé is composed entirely of Chardonnay grown on Lunelli family-owned hillside vineyards. It sits on the lees for no less than 5 years. Toasted hazelnuts and bits of linseed oil are apparent on the nose. The palate is simultaneously delicate and layered as well as substantial in depth of flavor. Yellow melon, continued toasted nuts, candied fruit and more contribute to the terrific texture and mouth-feel. The finish is long and very impressive for a wine in this price range.  Bits of brioche and orchard fruit are the dominant characteristics. In a portfolio loaded with notable wines the Perlé might be the best value. It simply out paces anything in its price category and some priced close to twice as much. Tasted alongside Dom Pérignon and the others in that tier it held its own nicely.

Ferrari 2009 Perlé Rosé Trentodoc ($65)

The Perlé Rosé is composed of Pinot Noir (80%) and Chardonnay (20%) grown in vineyards owned by the Lunelli family. It spends 5 years minimum on the lees. Red apple leads the nose. Raspberry and black cherry flavors fill the substantial and fruity palate. Pomegranate, cranberry and savory herbs are all apparent on the full bodied finish. Perlé Rosé is bigger, bolder and more suited for heartier foods than the NV Rosé.

Ferrari 2008 Perlé Nero Trentodoc ($75)

This offering is composed entirely of Pinot Noir which was hand harvested from Lunelli family vineyards. It spent a minimum of 6 years on the lees.  The nose here is ostentatious with bits of dark fruit and wisps of petrol as well. Black cherry, strawberry and spices galore are evident throughout the somewhat dense palate. Continued red and black fruits, tangerine zest and bits of buttery, flaky croissant dot the long, firm and impressive finish.

Ferrari 2007 Riserva Lunelli Trentodoc ($65)

This Riserva is 100% Chardonnay from Lunelli owned Villa Margon. It spent a minimum of 7 years on the lees. It’s the only selection in the portfolio whose secondary fermentation occurs in large Austrian oak, instead of bottle. Toasty notes, dried apple and bits of pear are evident on the nose. The mouth-feel is firm and rich. The fruit flavors here are more subdued and give way to other characteristics such as spice, toast and minerals. Orange zest notes dot the finish. This offering is meant to stand apart from the other members of the portfolio and it does just that. It’s an interesting and unique selection that is likely to inspire passion one way or the other.

Ferrari 2005 Giulio Ferrari Riserva Del Fondatore Trentodoc ($120)

The crown jewel in the Ferrari line is 100% Chardonnay from the Lunelli family owned vineyard of Maso Pianizza. It spends a minimum of 10 years on the lees. Candied fruit, citrus zest and white pepper are all evident on the nose. The palate is soft, gentle and lush with yellow fruit, toasted pine nuts and a complement of spices.  The prodigious finish features wet limestone, flaky biscuit, crème fraiche and continuing spices. There is elegance, grace and gravitas to this wine that impresses from the first whiff to the last sip. If you’re looking for top notch sparkling wine that can compete with anything on the shelf, Giulio Ferrari Riserva is a great choice.

Mentioned in this article

Comments

  • Snooth User: lee8877
    121288 23

    This is a favorite sparkling wine of mine!

    Dec 20, 2016 at 12:21 PM


Add a Comment

Search Articles


Best Wine Deals

See More Deals





Snooth Media Network