Monday 7 May 2018

Ferrari - The Bubbles (Not The Car)...

...although I would be happy driving a Ferrari and drinking Ferrari - but not at the same time of course! :-)

I was invited by VinUnic to a tasting lunch with Alessandro Lunelli, a grandson of Bruno Lunelli, who inherited the company from the founder Giulio Ferrari, who started the firm in 1902.
Alessandro spoke of the family wines and their work in a energetic, down to earth and charming way.
These were the wines we tasted. Info here.

NV Brut
Ferrari makes about 4,5 million bottles annualy and this NV Brut makes up a large part of the production. The nose is nice, light and easy going with notes of oranges, gravel and dry passion fruit.
The taste is light and fresh with some steely notes and a good acidity. 2 years on the less, 5-6 gr of sugar and costs 16 Euro, this is a perfect every day bubble. 100% Chardonnay.
87p   (tasted 2018/05)

NV Organic
The Organic is a more serious wine, all the grapes are owned (the majority of the grapes for the NV Brut are bought, but with very high standards regarding quality), and it stays 3 years on the lees. Again 100% Chardonnay. The nose is tight, stony and fresh with notes of lemon peel, chrushed rocks, dry melon, grass and a hint of cap gun smoke. Very, very good.
The taste is seedy, tight and fine with notes of lime juice, sun warm rocks, dry hay and basil. Long and very fine.
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

NV Rosé
I love Rosé bubbles and this was no exception, with a cool, fine tuned nose with notes of ripening raspberries, almond paste, sweet carrots and warm rocks. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of raspberry licorice, warm sand, oatmeal cookies and assorted herbs. Drinking great now and the coming 6+ years. Made since 1972!
90p   (tasted 2018/05)

2010 Perlé
The Perlé was first produced in 1971 (it happened a lot in the beginning of the 70´s!). 100% Chardonnay, at least 5 years on the lees with 5-6 gr of sugar. This is the real calling card for Ferrari according to Alessandro.
The nose is handsome and refined with notes of yellow apples, freshly baked bread, hay, white pepper and summer flowers. Very fine.
The taste is fine and structured with notes of dried up honey, candied lemons, toasted bread and dry passion fruit. Long and finely tuned. This is gooood! For 20 Euro, a real bargain!
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

2008 Reserva Lunelli
The Reserve Lunelli sees wood, big Stockinger casks with some age, for the first fermention. And it shows on the nose with deep, tight notes of ripe yellow apples, dry caramel, hay and wood smoke. A very fine depth. The oak adds to the complexity when compared to the Perlé.
The taste is multi layered and refined with notes of pan fried bread, red and yellow apples, ripe flowers and a dry crème caramel. A long, fine finish with a cleasing acidity. A lovely wine. 5+ years.
93p   (tasted 2018/05)

2005 Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore
The crème de la crème of the Ferrari lineup, made since 1972, is this single vineyard Chardonnay that stays about 10 years on its lees and gets 2-3 gr of sugar when bottled. The nose is very deep and concentrated, and yet light and refined, with notes of hard lemon candy, violet perfume, ripe yellow apples, sun warm rocks and hay. Expressive and really fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of lemon cream, chrushed rocks, dark cookie dough, earth and ripe grass. The finish is counted in minutes. Just stunning.
95p   (tasted 2018/05)

Tenuta Castelbuono
The Lunelli family also makes wine in Umbria, and Alesssandro in the managing director of this operation. Info here.

2015 Ziggurat
This 60% (the website says 70 but I trust Alessandro...:-)) Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, shows of a upfront, herbal nose with notes of plums, dark earth and some balsamic scents. Very good.
The taste is seedy, warm and round with notes of plums, dry chocolate, rosemary and scorched earth. A medium long, fine finish. Would go great with a grilled piece of meat.
87p   (tasted 2018/05)

2014 Lampante
This Montelfalco Rosso Riserva has the same blend as the Ziggurat but comes from two vineyards in Bevagna. The first vintage was 2008. The nose has a deep, earthy, spicy note to it with additional scents of some barnyard animals in a distance, dark licorice, wood and leather. A tad rustic but in a highly likeable way.
The taste is fruit forward and direct with notes of dark cherries, old balsamic vinegar, a clean stable and coffee powder. I really like this, it has some rustic notes but they are very charming. For the asking price of 17 Euro, I would have bought a lot, too bad it is (yet...) not available.
91p   (tasted 2018/05)

2014 Carapace
The Carapace is a 100% Sagrantino, a special selection of the estate´s finest vines. The first vintage was 2003. From a difficult vintage, this shows of a great nose with aromas of thyme, meat, dark cherries, tar and chrushed minerals. Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe black plums, fried herbs, tar and a moist forest floor. Very long and distinct. Needs time. Velvety tannins as the initial impression but there is a firm grip at the end. 8+ years. If the indicated price would be right (not available...) - 23 Euro - I would buy plenty.
92p   (tasted 2018/05)

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