October 2015, by Matt Steeves.

On October 19th, a group of Ottawa-based wine writers and sommeliers, including award winning wine writer, Natalie MacLean ( http://www.nataliemaclean.com ), gathered at Sidedoor Kitchen ( http://www.sidedoorrestaurant.com ) in the Byward Market (in Ottawa, Ontario) to enjoy a structured tasting of traditional method (metodo classico) sparkling wines from Italy’s famous sparkling wine house, Ferrari Trentodoc.

Ferrari Tasting at Sidedoor Kitchen

Ferrari produces exclusively sparkling wine from their winery in northern Italy, near the border of Switzerland and Austria.  Matteo Lunelli, the winery’s President and Chairman of the now third generation family business, led the tasting where he showcased Ferrari’s rich history with sparkling wine production.

Giulio Ferrari

Starting with a very modest beginning in 1902, it didn’t take long for Ferrari to be formally praised for their high quality wine as they received the Gold Medal for their sparkling wine at the 1906 International Exhibition in Milano (EXPO 1906).  For many decades thereafter, including enduring both World Wars, and continuing to this day, the Ferrari winery has a long tradition of achieving great success which has earned them the title of Italy’s leading producer of luxury sparkling wine, along with a list of accolades too long to begin mentioning.  Acknowledged by many as the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of Italian fizz, Ferrari has spent many years in a league of their own.  On that point, in September 2015, Ferrari was recognized as being the world’s best sparkling wine producer at The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships 2015, in London, England.  A huge accomplishment to be recognized as the best when swimming in a sea of giants.

Original post updated Nov 3: Ferrari has just been named “European Winery of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast in the celebrated 2015 Wine Star Awardsin recognition of all the firm has achieved for Italian wine”.

Wine Enthusiast noted that “Guided by the third generation of the Lunelli family, Ferrari embodies the very best of metodo classico sparkling winemaking and what the family describes as “the Italian Art of Living.” And continues: “Thanks to over a century of experience, Ferrari has helped put Italian sparklers on the world’s radar. (…) No brand has reached the luxury status and prestige of Ferrari”.

Congratulations to Ferrari, the Lunelli family, and all their partners that have made this accomplishment possible.  European Winery of the Year is a tremendous achievement that signifies and validates, without a doubt, the world-class operation and products Ferrari is responsible for, as well as their commitment to excellence that’s been woven into every aspect of their operation, and has been for over one hundred years.

Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year - 2015
In September 2015 Ferrari won the title of “Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year” at the international competition – “The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships”, finishing first in the final round over two well respected and storied Champagne producers: Charles Heidsieck and Luis Roederer. Clearly indicative of the world-class traditional method sparkling wine they’re producing, and speaking volumes to the efforts they’re taking to carryout all aspects of their business with excellence – in pursuit of making the finest sparkling wine in the world.   Ferrari was also recently nominated for “European Winery of the Year” by the prestigious American magazine, Wine Enthusiast, at the Wine Star Awards.  In November Ferrari was awarded the top prize as “European Winery of the Year”.  Ferrari’s award will be showcased in the Wine Enthusiast’s special “Best of Year” issue, and they will be honoured at a gala black-tie dinner in New York City on Jan. 25, 2016.

Matteo shared with the guests a video Ferrari produced that touches on their rich history of producing the highest quality sparkling wines in northern Intaly.  It’s worth a view:  Ferrari Video

Pictured here are Ferrari’s President, Matteo Lunelli, and wine writer Matt Steeves of Quercus Vino.

One glimpse of Ferrari’s scenic vineyards and your mind travels there, imagining yourself walking on those steep vineyard benches, breathing in the crisp mountain air, dwarfed by the scale of the mountains, the canopy of vines overhead, it’s an absolutely stunning view that’s responsible for cultivating some of the finest sparkling wine in the world. As Matteo Lunelli said, “wine is the hymn of the earth to the sky“.  Now in their second century of metodo classico wine production, Ferrari’s strength is deeply founded in their roots, and from those roots comes the passion, innovation, quest for excellence, and respect for tradition that’s required to continue to build their legacy of award winning wine for generations to come.

Ferrari's Hillside Vineryards in Norther Italy
A beautiful view of the aspect and perspective from Ferrari’s organic hillside vineyards in northern Italy. Vineyards that produce the exceptional quality fruit required for Ferrari’s world-class sparkling wines.
Here, in Ferrari’s organic vineyards, perched up in the sky, overlooking the beautiful region of Trentodoc in northern Italy, workers harvest the grapes that will make their way into some of the finest sparkling wines in the world.
Now into their third generation, the Lunelli family continues to build on a strong foundation focused on producing the finest sparkling wine in the world.
Now into their third generation, the Lunelli family continues to build on a strong foundation focused on producing the finest sparkling wine in the world.

Here are Matt’s notes from the tasting of Ferrari’s portfolio:

Ferrari Brut:

Ferrari has been producing world-class Methodo Classico sparkling wine since 1902. A pioneer in premium Italian traditional method sparkling wine production, Ferrari, has been loved by many around the world for over a century. Not to be confused with another iconic Italian brand, this Ferrari has relied only on its delicious wines to build its international following.

The founder’s focus on creating a luxurious sparkling wine continues today with this third generation family business as Ferrari sparkling wine is enjoyed by many of the world’s celebrities as their celebration wine of choice. Fortunately, this is the most affordable Ferrari, and Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine you can find, making it very accessible to all, not just those A-list celebs.

Adrien Brody
With Adrien Brody at the After Party for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit hosted by Prada

The Ferrari Brut is a non-vintage Blanc de Blancs (Chardonnay only) sparkling wine that was disgorged in 2014 after over two years on its lees. The colour is a rich straw yellow, with a nose of sweet baked apples and pears, vanilla bean, biscuit, and wet stone. The delicate mousse has a wonderful palate cleansing rich tree fruit and lemon curd finish. A very attractive and complex wine that sells for under $30, making it an absolute buy-by-the-case wine! Some of the finest bubbles I’ve enjoyed, especially at that price! Tasted December 2014 and October 2015. 92+ points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Ferrari Brut is currently available at SAQ stores in Quebec: Purchase Ferrari Brut at SAQ and BCLDB stores: Purchase Ferrari Brut at BCLDB stores

Ferrari Brut - a beautiful Blanc de Blancs

Ferrari Perlé 2007:

Ferrari Perlé 2007 was recently awarded finest sparkling wine in the world, outside of Champagne, “World Champion Sparkling Wine Outside Champagne” in the “Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships” organized by Tom Stevenson, the world’s foremost authority on sparkling wine.

This is an exceptional Metodo Classico Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, produced from 100% estate grown Chardonnay, from the finest high altitude hillside vineyards in Trentino. The 2007 was aged for over 5 years on its lees, then cellar-aged the balance of its life. Now 8 years old, it’s reached incredible complexity and harmony in every imaginable way. The colour is straw yellow with a rich golden hue, indicative of its age and the complexity that you’re soon to experience with that first sip. Rich and nutty, with citrus and tree fruit accents, it’s very fresh in the glass, and above all displays the elegance and harmony one expects from a fine Italian luxury product. When there’s a major milestone to celebrate I can’t think of a more appropriate sparkling wine than this premium vintage Ferrari. Enjoy with pasta carbonara, rich German cuisine, or elegant Japanese cuisine. Tasted October 2015. 94 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

$39 via private order: http://vinsdandurand.com/docs/2015-10-13_Liste_des_IP.pdf

(Note: I recently showcased the Perlé 2007 on CTV Morning Live…where the CTV Hostess sabered it live!  Check it out: CTV Hostess Sabers Ferrari Perlé 2007 live on CTV

Ferrari’s 2007 Perlé – $39 – recently named World Champion Sparkling Wine outside Champagne. Available via private order:http://vinsdandurand.com/docs/2015-10-13_Liste_des_IP.pdf

Finest Sparkling Wine in the World, outside of Champagne - 2015
International Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year, Ferrari Trento, and their World Champion Perle 2007, that was recognized as the finest sparkling wine in the world, outside of Champagne, in 2015.

Ferrari Rosé NV:

Ferrari has been producing world-class Metodo Classico wines since 1902. Ferrari’s Rosé was first produced in 1969, now 66 years later they continue the tradition of producing this lively and elegant copper/rose-gold coloured sparkling wine. Composed of 60% Pinot Nero and 40% Chardonnay, each hand harvested from the steep hillsides around Trento, it matured on its lees for over 24 months to gain complexity and body. Small field berries, pastry, honeysuckle, and orange zest on the nose, the palate offers sweet pear with a refreshing flinty minerality. Very versatile with food, from sweet and tangy meat balls to Margherita pizza, it’s an elegant treat and so value priced. Tasted October 2015. 92 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Ferrari Perlé Rosé 2007:

Award winning Ferrari produced their first vintage of Perlé Rosé in 1993 and it’s been a huge success every vintage thereafter. The 2007 was aged on its lees for over 5 years contributing to its complexity, body, and intriguing flavour profile.  A beautiful rose gold colour with brilliant copper hue, the nose shows wild field berries, rose petal, candied orange, vanilla, and crisp orchard fruit.  The creamy mousse leaves the palate refreshed with persisting sweet pear and flinty minerality leading the way on the long finish.  A remarkable metodo classico wine that would complement complex charcuterie platters, brunch meals, roasted game birds, and charcoal grilled fish.  Alternatively, enjoy while celebrating the special moments in your life that command a luxurious sparkling wine.  Tasted October 2015. 92+ points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Perlé Rosé 2007

Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2002:

Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2002 is Ferrari’s ultra premium vintage metodo classico sparkling wine that pays tribute to the founder’s mission of creating ultra premium luxurious sparkling wines from their high altitude vineyards in Trentino, Italy. Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2002 is made from 100% Chardonnay, picked from the Lunelli family’s Maso Pianizza vineyard that lies between 1,640 ft. and 1,970 ft. above sea level. Aged for 12 years on its lees before it was disgorged in 2014, the result is a remarkably complex and intriguing wine of the highest quality. The colour is a rich golden yellow, the nose displaying stone fruit, dried apricot, hazelnut, and subtle sweet honey notes. The ultra fine micro bubbles, combined with a mineral rich and nutty flavour profile, produce an elegant, complex, and remarkably balanced and fresh mouthfeel that speaks volumes to the countless awards this iconic Italian wine has earned. Enjoy 2015-2025. Tasted October 2015. 95 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Ferrari was also recently nominated for ‘Best European Winery’ by Wine Enthusiast at the Wine Star Awards, the prestigious prize that the American magazine will hand out at the end of 2015. The winners will be announced in the Wine Enthusiast’s special “Best of Year” issue, and they will be honoured at a gala black-tie dinner in New York City on Jan. 25, 2016.

Ferrari’s 2002 vintage Riserva del Fondatore ‘Founder’s Reserve’ Metodo Classico – after 10+ years of aging on its lees, it’s beautiful in every imaginable way.

Vins Philippe Dandurand Wine are Canada’s importer of Ferrari wines, which are currently available for sale in 8 provinces across Canada.  Check out their website at: http://vinsdandurand.com/en/ & Phttp://vinsdandurand.com/docs/2015-10-26_Liste_des_IP.pdf

I hope you too can enjoy a glass of Ferrari metodo classico sparkling wine in the near future.


Matt Steeves