Ferrari is a well-recognized name around the world. The fast, red, sexy car might be your first association. But consider this. Ferrari is also about sparkling wine made in the north of Italy, in the Trentino region, and Ferrari Rosé NV is perfect for Valentine’s Day.
This is my first taste of Ferrari Rosé NV sparkling wine, and a chance to learn a bit about the region, the winemaking process and the wine which was provided as a tasting sample.
Trentino, has a long association with sparkling wine production. Giulio Ferrari (who was not related to the Ferrari automobile family), founded Ferrari in 1902. He traveled to Germany and France to learn winemaking, and then returned to his native Trentino, where he was convinced he could make outstanding sparkling wine. He brought Chardonnay vines back to Italy with him, he was the first to do so. Turns out he was right about making quality sparkling wine in the region.
Trentino is located in the southern portion of the Trentino-Alto Adige region in northern Italy and shares borders with Austria and Switzerland. The area is mountainous, it’s at the foot of the Alps, and has a cool climate with significant diurnal temperature variation which preserves the acidity of its grapes. The climate moderates somewhat in areas adjacent to Lake Garda in the southern portion of the region.
Trento DOC designation has been established to recognize sparkling wine exclusively. Only Méthode Champenoise, referred to as Metodo Classico in Italy, is permitted in the production of Trento DOC sparkling wine. Still wine is made in the usual manner. The second fermentation takes place in the bottle, followed by riddling, disgorgement, final corking and aging.
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir (Pinot Nero in Italy), Pinot Meunier and Pinot Blanc are the only grape varieties permitted. Grapes must be grown following strict cultivation, trellising and harvesting methods, and only in specific areas within Trentino.
There are aging requirements as well. Non-vintage Trento DOC must age on the lees for a minimum of 15 months, vintage for at least 24 and Riserva for at least 36 months.
The Ferrari Rosé NV is a blend of 60% Pinot Nero and 40% Chardonnay. Grapes are grown on hillsides at an elevation of 985 to 1970 feet above sea level. Sustainable growing practices are followed on all estate properties, and in the family vineyards that grow grapes for Ferrari. All fruit is harvested by hand.
Today, the Lunelli family own and manage Ferrari. The third generation now continues Giulio Ferrari’s commitment to producing quality sparkling wine in Trentino.
Now to the really fun part. Let’s start with the visual aspect of the the Ferrari Rosé NV mini. The 375ml bottle is clad in rose foil. This half-bottle is just the perfect size for an occasion when just a glass or two of sparkling wine is what you want — like a party of two for Valentine’s Day.
A few quick twists of the muselet, the wire cage that holds the cork in place, will allow it to be loosened so that you can remove the cork.
As you pour the wine into your glass you will notice the delicate salmon color and a vigorous effervescence with many small and medium-sized bubbles. Berry aromas with a subtle yeastiness are followed by flavors of raspberry, citrus pith and a steely finish. Good acidity provides a clean finish which is long-lasting. It is not perceivably sweet. ABV 12.5%.
The combination of berry and citrus flavors along with the steely, clean finish produces a complex, flavorful glass of sparkling wine. It is flavorful on its own and would be perfect before a meal. No food necessary to enjoy this lively sparkling wine.
Because I have Valentine’s Day on my mind, and because chocolates so often are a part of Valentine’s Day celebrations, I also sampled four dark chocolates along with the Ferrari Rosé NV sparkling wine.
Dark Chocolate Chip Truffle was the best pairing, with the chocolate flavors not overpowering the flavor of the wine. The flavors of both came through well. Cafe Au Lait Truffle worked just as well. Dark Chocolate Marzipan was the next best pairing, with almond flavors complimenting the berry and citrus flavors of the sparkling wine. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream competed a bit with the berry flavors in the wine and tasted slightly too sweet.
Enjoy Ferrari Rosé NV sparkling wine before dinner by itself if you want to concentrate on the flavors of the wine. Consider dark chocolate as an accompaniment for dessert. Either choice will be a good one.
Gregory White, a strategic marketing and public relations agency, provided the Ferrari Rosé NV sparkling wine in the “mini” 375ml bottle as a tasting sample (SRP $16). It is available in 750ml bottles as well.
Ferrari Rosé NV sparkling wine is imported by Palm Bay, along with Ferrari’s other sparkling wines. Ferrari produce a range of sparkling wines, both vintage and NV, some of which are aged as long as 10 years on the lees. Lots to explore from this producer.
So plan ahead and surprise your valentine with a Ferrari. I’m certain your thoughtfulness will be greatly appreciated.
Happy Valentine’s Day.