Dec 16, 2012

Posted by in 1/2 Day Vacation, Articles, Featured | 0 Comments

Exploring Italian Wines: Ferrari Metodo Classico Sparkling Wine

IMG_2596I love Sparkling Wine. It certainly does not need to be near or during the holidays for me to enjoy a glass of bubbles. One of my favorite wineries here in the south Willamette Valley is known for their world-class sparkling wines: Domaine Meriwether. I always have one of Meriwether’s Sparkling Wines on hand, whether I pop the cork in the mid-morning for brunch with friends or enjoy a glass by the fireplace at night after the kids have gone to bed, Sparkling Wine is good any time of day or night, all year long.

One of the reasons why I love Meriwether’s Sparkling Wines is that they are produced using Methode Champenoise, which is the traditional method used for making the highest quality sparkling wines – a method that’s been used for centuries in the Champagne region of France.  Secondary fermentation for Methode IMG_3607Champenoise takes place in the bottle, creating a more complex, effervescent wine than sparkling wines that are produced using other methods. Although Methode Champenoise Sparkling Wines tend to be more expensive, there are several brands, including Meriwether, that have stellar value priced sparkling wine – Domaine Meriwether’s Celebration Cuvee Brut, for example, is under $20 dollars, but could easily be priced much higher.

In light of my recent series on Exploring Italian Varietals and wines, finding three excellently priced Italian Sparkling Wines made using Methode Champenoise (Metodo Classico in Italy) was like finding a pot of gold. Ferrari’s Brut, Rosé and 2004 Perlé are all under $40 dollars and are absolutely outstanding Metodo Classico Sparkling Wines. Ferrari was founded in 1902, and is located in the mountainous foothills of the Alps in Trento D.O.C., not far from the Trentino region. The higher elevation of the vineyards aid in producing the crisp, sparkling wines that Ferrari is known for.

IMG_3615~Ferrari Brut Metodo Classico ($25): Yellow and golden hues with very light green reflections on a vibrant halo offer super fresh aromas of apples, lemons and a hint of yeast. On the palate, similar flavors shine through with a touch of caramel and fresh baked bread. The finish is clean, bright and has really nice acidity with tropical tones. 100% percent hand picked Chardonnay, aged at least 24 months on selected yeasts from Ferrari’s own cultures – the very first vintage of the Ferrari Brut was produced in 1902. This is outstanding for the price – truly an excellent value.

~Ferrari Rosé Metodo Classico ($37): This Sparkling Rosé can rival those that are from Champagne – it is outstanding. Elegant berry aromas and flavors abound – raspberries and strawberries with a hint of toasted hazelnuts end with a long, creamy and beautifully exquisite finish. 60% percent Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) and 40% Chardonnay, the grapes for the Ferrari Rosé were hand harvested and aged for several years before being bottled. For all this wine delivers in excellent taste and quality, the price is shockingly low.

IMG_3620~Ferrari 2004 Perlé Metodo Classico ($35): Aged for five years before being bottled, this vintage Blanc de Blanc was produced using hand harvested 100% Chardonnay grapes. The Perlé is fresh, elegant, complex and beautifully balanced. Deliciously aromatic, apples and fresh bread are positively alluring, and ripe fruit flavors are balanced by dry, crisp acidity resulting in a well rounded beauty. Another Ferrari Metodo Classico that is well worth its price.

Since I started exploring Italian varietals and wines, I have discovered some excellent value wines. Everything I’ve tried out of Italy is high quality, packed full of flavors and truly delicious. I really look forward to continuing my series on Italian wines, cheers!