It is an exciting time for fans of Italian sparkling wine with great new varieties finding their way to American shores. Today we are trying Trentodoc. This sparkling wine comes from the mountainous Trento region of northern Italy and is made in the traditional method, like Champagne, with secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle. Also like Champagne, Trentodoc is typically made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, but sometimes includes Pinot Meunier and Pinot Blanc. All three of the wines we are trying today are 100% Chardonnay and are Brut in style, so they should be fairly dry. Ferrari has recently earned organic certification, and the grapes they use are grown without pesticides or herbicides. Let’s give them a try.
NV Ferrari F1 Limited Edition Trentodoc – This Trentodoc was produced as Ferrari’s toast to Formula 1 racing, and I guess it needs to be noted that the wine producers are not professionally connected to the makers of Ferrari automobiles in any way. The wine pours straw colored in the glass and has a very bright, fruity nose of apple with some yeasty character. Ample small bubbles provide excellent mouthfeel. The palate shows medium to high acidity and light sweetness for a brut wine. The fruitiness continues on the palate with apple and lemon coming together nicely with some minerality that defines the medium length finish. For the price, this is an excellent bottle of sparkling wine, and its light sweetness might recommend it over the other bottles we’re trying today, which are more complex but drier and more expensive. B+ / $36
2016 Ferrari Perlé Trentodoc – Slightly darker than the F1, this Trentodoc is a light yellow in color. This isn’t a very old vintage, but its time in the bottle can be appreciated in the layering of character. The nose is delightfully complex with sweet apple, light spice, and a touch of almond as well as bread crust. I found myself sitting with the wine for a while, appreciating the nose. The palate introduces high acidity, but it isn’t over the top. Notes of red apple couple with some tart granny smith, a bit of bready yeast, and a lovely, rounded mouthfeel. The finish is quite long as the flavors slowly fade. A- / $44
2008 Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore Trentodoc – This well aged vintage Trentodoc pours light golden in the glass and shows ample effervescence. The nose surprised me with bold notes of white chocolate and honey. The previous Trentodocs reviewed had lovely mouthfeel, but this bottle goes further, offering the kind of silky experience one rarely finds outside of older vintage Champagnes. The palate shows high acidity and is quite dry, offering complex, layered notes of pineapple, apple, and apricot, along with toast and, again, white chocolate. The finish is beautiful and long as the flavors disappear. This Trentodoc is distinctive and really impressive, but note that it is the driest of the three wines. Many popular Brut Champagnes lean toward the sweeter side of the designation, and someone that prefers sweeter sparkling wines could be disappointed. I, for one, was not. A / $125