Prosecco is a great introduction to the joys of Italian sparkling wine but for bubbles with more complexity, nuance, and elegance; fill your glass with Trentodoc. And based on an informal survey of my friends from Italy, Ferrari Trentodoc is the one that sets the standard. Need more convincing? Ferrari prevailed over renowned Champagne producers to win the prestigious title of "Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year" at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships 2015. This impressive achievement is an amazing manifestation of founder Giulio Ferrari's dream of creating a wine in Trentino that could compete with the best Champagnes from France.
Combining the words Trento (the city of origin) and the appellation indicator DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata/controlled designation of origin), Trentodoc refers exclusively to sparkling wines produced in the Metodo Classico (like Champagne, the wine's second fermentation happens in the bottle) from grapes grown in Trentino in the northeast of Italy.
Truly a pioneer, the story of Trentodoc begins with Mr. Ferrari - he founded his namesake winery in 1902 and made Italy's first significant plantings of Chardonnay. His Metodo Classico sparkling wines achieved acclaim in Italy and internationally but Ferrari, who had no children, realized that he needed to identify a successor to carry on his legacy. After considering many candidates, Ferrari selected Bruno Lunelli, owner of a local wine shop in Trento, to lead Ferrari into the future. Lunelli successfully increased production without compromising quality and today Ferrari is led by the third generation of the Lunelli family - cousins Alessandro, Camilla, Marcello, and Matteo. I recently had the pleasure of tasting a beautiful selection of Ferrari Trentodoc wines with Camilla Lunelli. Here are four selections from the impressive Ferrari portfolio.
100% Chardonnay, Ferrari Brut Trentodoc NV ($25) is a great introduction to the house style and shows that Trentodoc isn't just about the method - the mountainous terroir has a tremendous influence on the wines. As Camilla explained, the region's warm days and cool nights provide an optimal environment for the grapes to achieve balance. With fresh aromas of white flowers and golden delicious apples, this wine is crisp and refreshing with fine bubbles. Fresh fruit flavors are balanced by an appealing hint of brioche on the finish that develops from the minimum of 24 months that the wine spends aging on the lees (yeasts).
Ferrari Rosé Trentodoc NV ($35)
A blend of Pinot Nero (60%) and Chardonnay (40%), this rosé is both elegant and substantial. Aged more than two years on the lees, it is delightfully dry and crisp with flavors of wild strawberries and sweet almonds.
Ferrari Perlé Trentodoc 2007 ($37)
Chardonnay grapes exclusively from the Lunelli family’s vineyards are used to craft this single-vintage Trentodoc. First produced in 1971, Perlé is considered the icon of the Ferrari style. Long maturation (5 years on the lees) bestows this beauty with fine bubbles, rich aromatics (white peach, almond blossom, citrus) and rich flavors (fruity, a touch of almond, toast, and a slightly creamy finish).
Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore Trentodoc 2004 ($130)
For a truly sublime Trentodoc experience, choose the bottle of Ferrari that was named after the founder. First produced in 1972, Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore is crafted exclusively from Chardonnay grapes from the Lunelli family's Maso Pianizza vineyard. Aged at least 10 years on the lees, the prolonged contact with yeast imbues this wine with complexity but it still maintains great freshness and vitality. A really special wine.
Chef Massimo Bottura celebrated his Osteria Francescana being ranked #1 on the list of The World's 50 Best Restaurants with a bottle of Ferrari Trentodoc and Matteo Lunelli (CEO, Cantine Ferrari).
Sipping Ferrari Trentodoc puts you in very good company - it has been enjoyed by world leaders, presidents, popes, actors, and athletes. Ferrari has also been poured at high profile events such as the Emmy Awards and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony.