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