Each year Gambero Rosso visits the United States and hosts the Tre Bicchieri tastings in several American cities. What they’re showcasing is all of the best, most highly regarded wines from Italy the previous year. I’ve been attending the tasting in New York for the last seven or so years, and I can honestly say there isn’t an annual large-scale tasting I look forward to more. The breadth of excellent Italian wine is stunning. Whether you want to focus on a particular grape or style, or your preference is to wander around and survey the bounty, you’re more than likely to find something delicious at every turn. So when a wine or wines really make a strong impression amid such an imposing gathering, it’s noteworthy. This year one of my single favorites was a beautiful sparkling wine from Rotari, here’s a look at it.
The Rotari 2005 Flavio Talento Brut Riserva was produced exclusively from DOC fruit. This offering is composed entirely of chardonnay. This sparkling wine was produced using the classic method. Secondary fermentation took place in the bottle and it was aged on it’s lees for five years. Rotari only makes this particular release in select vintages and sells for right around $38. Apples, lemon zest, and stone fruit aromas burst with conviction from the ebullient nose of this 2005 sparkling wine. The palate is stacked with layer upon layer of gorgeous and gentle fruit flavors; yellow delicious apple, Anjou pear, toasted nuts, and apricot flavors are all on display. The finish is persistent and lengthy with yeast, brioche, tangerine zest, and a final wallop of crème frâiche that leaves a lasting impression. This gorgeous wine is immaculately balanced and a delight to drink all by itself. It will, however, pair wonderfully with lighter foods and would be an excellent choice to serve at brunch.
I absolutely love this wine for the grace, complexity and stunning elegance it exhibits. Rotari 2005 Flavio has the depth and sophistication of other champagnes that sell for twice as much. For days after the Tre Bicchieri tasting, this wine was stuck in my head. It left such a strong impression that I was concerned about whether or not it could live up to my memory when I re-tasted it a few weeks later. I’m thrilled to report that it was just as impressive when I tasted it again. This is an absolutely awesome sparkling wine that is really a steal at under $40. Run, don’t walk to the store and grab some for yourself.