John Stimp­fig

‘At £180 a pop, this is Italy’s most ex­pen­sive rosé by a mile’

Decanter - - NEWS - John Stimp­fig is con­tent di­rec­tor of Decanter

THIS AU­TUMN, I was able to tick off an­other item from my fine wine bucket list. For years, I had wanted to visit the moun­tain­ous vine­yards of Trento DOC, tucked away in the south­ern Dolomites above the broad­en­ing Adige Val­ley. Fi­nally, I was pre­sented with the per­fect op­por­tu­nity – an in­vi­ta­tion to taste Fer­rari’s brand new Trentodoc rosé fizz.

The com­pany was cre­ated in Trento by vi­sion­ary founder Gi­ulio Fer­rari back in 1902. Very quickly, it estab­lished it­self as an out­stand­ing sparkling wine pro­ducer, spe­cial­is­ing in Chardon­nay. Since 1952, the house has been owned and im­pec­ca­bly run by three gen­er­a­tions of the lo­cal Lunelli fam­ily. Un­der their care, Fer­rari has qui­etly grown its plant­ings of Pinot Noir and its in­creas­ingly im­pres­sive rosé and blanc de noirs port­fo­lio.

In Trento, I tasted a crisp and clas­sic Max­i­mum Brut NV from mag­num, fol­lowed by an el­e­gantly fresh and youth­ful Perlé 2011. The Perlé rosés can also age with grace and flavour. Just try the toasty, rose­hip-in­fused 2005 and the savoury, truf­fley 2003. In con­trast, the Perlé Nero 2008 (the com­pany’s first and only blanc de noirs) re­mains won­der­fully fresh, pri­mary and per­sis­tent. This is metodo clas­sico wine­mak­ing of a very high or­der.

The de­but Gi­ulio Fer­rari Rosé comes from the 2006 vin­tage and is a blend of 80% Pinot Noir with 20% Chardon­nay. Grapes were hand-se­lected from the best Lunelli fam­ily vine­yards on the higher slopes of the Trentino moun­tains, at up to 750m. Once vini­fied, it was aged for 11 years on lees, prior to re­lease. Ac­cord­ing to Fer­rari’s chair­man, Mat­teo Lunelli, this new rosé ‘rep­re­sents the fi­nal fruition of our love story with Pinot Noir and will only ever be made in ex­cep­tional vin­tages.’

Such was the se­lec­tion process, just 5,000 bot­tles of Gi­ulio Fer­rari Rosé have been pro­duced for a global mar­ket. My ab­bre­vi­ated tast­ing note read: ‘Firm, fresh and com­plex nose and palate, with pome­gran­ate, cit­rus, cran­berry and wild straw­berry along­side savoury notes of bal­sam and brioche. Still young, its aus­tere acid­ity and min­eral depth com­bines with a well-chis­elled power and vi­nos­ity. This is def­i­nitely a wine for food. 96 points.’

At £180 a pop, Gi­ulio Fer­rari Rosé be­comes Italy’s most ex­pen­sive sparkling rosé by a mile. But in my opin­ion it is also its best – by an even greater dis­tance.

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