Vintage sparkling wine is a treat – but a 2001 Giulio Ferrari reserve is beyond all expectations.
With Age Comes…
With age comes many things. In wines, if things go badly, it can result in a flawed wine and dashed expectations.
Happily, it can also lead to complexity, refinement and elegance – in wine as well as people. Such was the case with our recent tasting of Giulio Ferrari 2001 Riserva del Fondatore, from the mountainous Trento DOC of Italy.
For the last month we’ve been exploring the sparkling wines of Ferrari. We finally arrived at the crowning moment, as we popped open the Giulio Ferrari Riserva.
The Giulio Ferrari Riserva is different from the start. First of all, it is a sparkling wine from Italy that isn’t Prosecco. This wine is from specially selected Chardonnay grapes from the vineyard of Maso Pianizza. That such a beauty can be made with Chardonnay in the traditional method is a revelation.
This reserve wine has been produced since 1972. The Riserva ages at least 10 years on yeast. It is painstakingly nurtured through the same traditional method used by winemakers in Champagne.
All this, of course, has no meaning if the wine disappoints.
Standing The Test Of Time
“Pofffff…” went the bottle as we opened and poured the 2001 Riserva. In the flute the wine was a deliciously deep golden color with bright highlights. There was a slight foaming, but it dissipated after a moment.
At that instant I wondered whether the Riserva had maintained its vibrancy. I watched as maybe a half dozen columns of bubbles rose to the top. After almost 15 years had it lost its pizzazz?
One amazing sip dispelled all qualms. The Riserva had a wonderful texture courtesy of a persistent fizz. It had several layers of flavor including nuts, citrus and honey.
My wife grabbed the bottle and proclaimed it as the “best sparkling wine ever!” To celebrate, she took the bottle outside and we photographed it against the full moon poking out from behind the dark clouds.
This is a wine quite sophisticated and elegant. It is from Ferrari’s Reserve Line, the winery’s top range and has a $120 SRP. Some things you can’t put a price on, like magic – which this bottle surely is.
Full Disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.