Cantine Ferrari, “PerlE” TrentoDOC 2007 (about $37)

Italian Wine for july, 2017

The Ferrari story begins in 1902 when Giulio Ferrari returned from his wine apprenticeship in France’s Champagne region to his hometown of Trento in Italy’s northern Trentino region.  Giulio believed that the Trentino region held great promise for producing quality Champagne-like sparkling wines. He planted some Chardonnay vines that he had brought with him from France and was soon producing sparkling wines. Ever the perfectionist, Giulio didn’t take any shortcuts. He used the time-consuming traditional Classico Metodo procedure where the sparkling wine goes through the secondary fermentation in the bottle rather than tank.

His finely-crafted, limited production sparkling wines found favor with the wine-consuming public and awards and international acclaim soon followed. Ferrari soon became the gold standard for sparkling wines in Italy.

In the 1950’s, Ferrari, ageing and lacking heirs, sold his winery and brand to Bruno Lunelli, a friend and prominent Trento wine merchant. Bruno had an entrepreneurial spirit and through some timely acquisitions and astute marketing initiatives grew Ferrari into one of Italy’s top sparkling wine producers. Production increased dramatically from a few thousand bottles in 1952 to levels fast approaching 5 million bottles a year. They have become Italy’s “go to” wines for weddings, anniversaries and other celebratory occasions. Ferrari has a broad portfolio of vintage and non-vintage sparkling wines that are widely distributed around the world.

It’s worth noting that this increased production has not come at the expense of quality. Bruno Lunelli shared Giulio Ferrari’s obsessive concern for quality and attention to detail and these guiding principles have been embedded in the fabric of the company’s operations. Ferrari is a highly-regarded, quality-oriented producer whose sparkling wines rival those of Champagne and are perennial recipients of Gambero Rosso’s prized Tre Bicchieri award.

Ferrari’s vintage Perlé sparkling Perle 2007 TrentoDOC sparkling wine from Cantine Ferrari wine is a good example. It is an approachable yet elegant, intense and delicious wine that is the equal of some Champagnes that sell for twice its price.

The 2007 Perlé TrentoDOC is made entirely of Chardonnay grapes sourced from prime mountainside vineyards in the prestigious TrentoDOC appellation in the Trentino region. Like other Ferrari wines, it is produced using the traditional classico metodo process whereby the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle instead of tanks. Ferrari’s own selected strain of yeasts is used to start the bottle fermentation and the wine is aged on the lees for 5 years.

The 2007 Perlé is straw yellow in color with golden highlights and very fine and persistent bubbles. It has the crisp, racy and aromatic sensations typically associated with high-elevation Chardonnay. The ’07 Perlé has evocative aromas of golden delicious apples, citrus fruits and lightly-toasted sourdough bread from the extended ageing on the lees. It has sprightly acidity and a soft, creamy texture with fruity notes of ripe apple, lemon, nectarine and white peach and a nutty edge. Everything comes together nicely, nothing is overdone and small, persistent bubbles with pleasant almond notes give lift to an elegant finish.

The Perlé is a great vintage-dated sparkling wine at a very competitive price. It goes well with a variety of dishes - from appetizers and cheeses, fish and shellfish, Asian dishes to many poultry, pork and sausage dishes - so you don’t have to wait for a celebratory occasion to pop the cork.

 

©Richard Marcis
July 10, 2017

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