June 1st, 2015
Having been offered the opportunity to attend the Gambero Rosso ‘Special Wine Awards’ Masterclass, I realized one thing. Okay, well, I realized a few things throughout the course of the seminar, but that is also what I am here to talk about. What I realized was that I really adore wine. No joke. Oh wait. I knew that already.
As masterclasses are wont to do, they showcase the best of the best. This particular masterclass was no exception. Marco Sabellico, the Editor in Chief of the Gambero Rosso Wines of Italy 2015 Guide, spoke to the small crowd and presented the wines that recieved the highest awards.
How the Winners Came To Be
As mentioned early on in the seminar, we were tasting 7 of the 9 top winners in Italy. Whoa.
Forty-five thousand wines (yes, you read me right) from more than 20,000 labels from more than 2,400 wineries were tasted.
This process took almost four months to complete. When the original number of submitted wines was decreased to a semi-final number of 1,200, those samples that made it through the process were sent to Rome to have another panel taste through. Essentially, they eliminated more. There were a total of 423 Tre Bicchieri winners.
The Rating System
Tre Bicchieri translates from Italian to English into “three glasses”. Gambero Rosso wants to keep things simple. The guide outlines the following:
One glass — “good wines in their respective categories”
Two glasses — “very good to excellent wines in their respective categories”
Three glasses — “excellent wines in their respective categories”
Award for Sustainable Viticulture
Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Brut Nature 2010
Bouquet: hints of brioche, strong minerality, lemon wedge
Palate: excellent mousse, vibrant, yellow apple, clean mineral finish
Conclusion: Quite lovely!
White of the Year
Valle Reale Trebbiano d’Abruzzo V. di Capestrano 2012
Bouquet: white peach, lemon juice, minerality, hints of almond and white flowers
Palate: silky, citrus, light stone fruit
Conclusion: This wine surprised me with its complexity. I have always viewed Trebbiano as a light, watery-wine with not much going on. It is, after all, the working horse grape of Italy. This wine, however, opened my eyes to the fact that Trebbiano can be done well. Bravo!
Best Value for Money
Monte Del Fra Custoza Sup. Ca’del Magro 2012
Bouquet: zesty lemon spritz, briny, dry chalk, dusty, mineral-driven
Palate: herbaceous, nutty, fresh lemon juice, hints of lime zest, med. body
Conclusion: A beautiful white wine for a hot summer eve.
Tiare-Roberto Snidarcig Collio Sauvignon 2013
Bouquet: vegetal & vivacious, fresh cut grass, asparagus
Palate: luscious, capsicum, white grapefruit pith on finish, minerality
Conclusion: Oh boy! I adored this wine. Of this wine, Sabellico stated one could detect the “herbs that you find on the dunes on the shore” in this wine. I put a little “heart” beside my notes.
Grower of the Year
Giuseppe Gabbas Cannonau di Sardegna Cl. Dule 2011
Bouquet: bright Maraschino cherry, raspberry, violets & roses
Palate: smooth body, peppery spice, red fruits, floral, hints of dry tobacco and grilled herbs on back palate
Conclusion: Very nice! It’s a romantic wine.
Winery of the Year
Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno 2011
Bouquet: Red & black fruits, plum, mocha, dark chocolate, dark spices, complex & deep
Palate: Mysteriously grippy tannin, dark fruit, wet tobacco, good acidiy and ageing potential
Conclusion: Bring me some wine and start the BBQ!
Sweet of the Year
Tentuta Di Capezzana Vin Santo di Carmignano Ris. 2007
Bouquet: Butterscotch, caramel, pecan pie, orange, rum & raisins, ginger
Palate: lusciously sweet with salted honey, caramel, buttery, long finish, with a very interesting mouthfeel
Conclusion: Do I have to conclude this? I won’t. I just won’t. It’s too good to have it end.
Good wines, good times, great learning experience. I’m very grateful that I was able to attend.