By Bob Lipinski
Up in the northern region of Trentino-Alto Adige lies an area known for making some of Italy’s highest quality sparkling wines. It is the only “traditional method” sparkling wine region located high in the mountains, with vineyards planted at up to 3,000 feet above sea level.
The sparkling wines from the province of Trento in Trentino-Alto Adige are known as “Trentodoc,” a trademark name created in 2007. Their sparkling wines were already being made in the early 1900s by Giulio Ferrari, a student at the Imperial Royal Agricultural School of San Michele. He first started the “traditional method” production in Trento, after many study tours to France. Trentodoc sparkling wines officially received their DOC designation in 1993.
Trentodoc wines can be white or rosé and are made from any combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes, and must be made by the classic metodo classico method.
Aging in the bottle varies from a minimum of 15 months for a nonvintage; 24 months for a millesimato (vintage); and a minimum of 36 months for a riserva (aged).
Currently, there are 67 Trentodoc sparkling wine producers. Below are some of my tasting notes.
NV Ferrari “Brut” (100% Chardonnay): Bright straw-yellow. A clean and refreshing aroma of crusty bread, white flowers, green apple, and pears. Medium-bodied and crispy with flavors of citrus, peach, and slightly honeyed. Clean finish and very long and pleasing aftertaste. Serve it with slightly melted Brie.
2016 Rotari “Brut Rosé” (75% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay): Aged 24 months. Salmon-colored with tiny, pin-point bubbles. A fresh aroma of cream and raspberries, with complex flavors of spicy cherry and peach. Refreshing acidity with a lingering aftertaste. A simple dish of prosciutto and melon.
NV Cesarini Sforza “Brut” (100% Chardonnay): Subtle bouquet of yellow fruit, tarragon, and freshly made biscuits. Complex flavors of golden Delicious apples, lemon sorbet, and spices. Subtle finish with an aftertaste of nuts and ginger. Fried calamari would be perfect.
NV Monfort “Brut Rosé” (Blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir): Lovely rose colored with a fragrant aroma of strawberries and brioche. Light and delicate in the mouth with hints of red apple, citrus, herbs, and spices. Very easy to drink. Serve with a medley of sautéed wild mushrooms.
NV Moser 51,151 “Brut” (100% Chardonnay): Pale-yellow with a subtle bouquet of blueberry, cherry, and lemon tart. Medium-bodied, and dry, with hints of apples and pears. Pair with chilled smoked salmon.
Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He consults and conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com OR [email protected].