Impressions From The 2013 Gambero Rosso World Tour Munich

Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri World Tour

Italian wine geeks and frequent readers of this blog are probably already quite familiar with the Gambero Rosso – Italy’s leading and in my opinion best wine guide.

Gambero Rosso World TourThe rating system of the Gambero Rosso is quite simple: Only the very best wines of a wine region or appellation receive the highest rating known as ‘Tre Bicchieri‘ (Italian for Three Glasses). The other two ratings are Due Bicchieri and Un Bicchiere (Two Glasses & One Glass). Furthermore wines from organic agriculture that win the Tre Bicchieri also receive the Tre Bicchieri Verdi.

Wineries that either received the Tre Bicchieri or The Tre Bicchieri Verdi award are invited to join the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri World Tour which basically is a large, world-touring trade show dedicated to Italian wine. So when I heard that the Tre Bicchieri Tour stops in Munich I immediately booked a (free) ticket.

Fellow blogger Anatoli also attended the Tre Biccheri World Tour – not in Munich but in New York. You can read about his experience here.

High Expectations

Two of my friends joined me for event which took place on June 11th. We were all excited to try the likes of Sassicaia, Barolo, Trento DOC, Bolgheri and Tignanello. Gates opened for the press and people working in the industry at 2pm. Everyone else had to wait until 16:30. We arrived there at 3pm and were surprised and irritated when we found that only 41 exhibitors were present. Having visited the 2013 SlowWine trade show and the 2013 VinItaly (world’s largest wine fair) only recently, the small size of the Gambero Rosso World Tour was disappointing. Nevertheless we tried to remain positive. The organizers encouraged us not to take pictures which was quite awkward in my opinion.

Sparkling Wines

2005 Cavit - Altemasi - Trento DOC Riserva.phpWe started with Franciacorta sparklers. The most prominent producers of Franciacorta at the trade show was Contadi Castaldi. Their 2006 Soul Satén was an excellent start. 100% Chardonnay. The bottles were disgorged 60 months after tirage. The wine aged for 7 months in parts in stainless steel tanks and in parts in French oak. In the glass, Soul Satén had a persistent foam and a pale yellow color. The bouquet was composted of flowers (especially Genista), Italian white bread and hazelnut. On the palate, the wine tasted like Piedmontese Torrone. Persistently long finale.

Next in line was a Moscato d’Asti from Piedmont. However, it was way to sweet for my palate so we quickly moved on to what turned out to be one of the highlights of the Gambero Rosso World Tour. The 2005 Altimesi Graal Riserva Trento DOC from Cavit has everything that an excellent sparkling wine needs. A blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Nero. Altimesi Graal Riserva ages 48 months on the lees. The wine had a fine, persistent perlage and of golden color. On the nose, there were aromas of mango, citrus peel and ripe apple. In the mouth, Altimesi Graal Riserva had a good minerality some fruit. The acidity was well-balanced. Lingering finish.

White And Pink Wines

2009 Poggio al Tesoro - Dedicato a Walter - Toscana IGTWe moved on to try some white and pink wines but in all honesty I found (almost) none more than average (average as in I would not only rarely buy a bottle of them). The disappointment of the day was definitely the 2010 Masciarelli – Marina Cvetic – Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC. Undrinkable! Should you stumble over this wine then stay away from it. Trust me. The 2010 Capo Martino IGT Bianco Venezia-Giulia from Jermann was the only white wine that stood.

After the whites we decided to try some red wines. The choice was again quite limited but what we tasted was mostly good. Another highlight comes from Allegrini-owned winery Poggio al Tesoro. The 2009 ‘Dedicato a Walter’ is produced with 100% Cabernet Franc and classified as Toscana IGT. Dedicato a Walter aged 18 months in French barrique and additional 12 months in the bottle. In the glass, the wine had a ruby red color. On the nose, plums, cherries, raspberries and other red fruit, vanilla and toast. In the mouth, dry and spicy with small fruit notes. Silky, ripe tannins. Full-bodied and of good structure. Persistently long finish.

The 2009 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella was not that good – especially compared to Trabucchi d’Illasi’s 2006 Amarone della Valpolicella (that’s their current vintage which won the 3 bicchieri in the 2012 of the Gambero Rosso). Right next to the Allegrini stand was the Masi stand where we tried their 2006 ‘Vaio Armaron Serègo Alighieri’ Amarone della Valpolicella. Masi’s Amarone was better than the Amarone from Allegrini but once again I have to say that I prefer the Trabucchi Amarone.

2009 Vigne & Vini - Papale Linea Oro - Primitivo di Manduria DOCLast but not least, I want to talk about the wines from Apulia. Why? Because 8 out of the 41 wineries are coming from that region. The 2009 Leone De Castris ‘Salice Salentino Rosso 50° Venemmia Riserva’ Salice Salentino DOC  is among the very best Salice Salentino that I have tried but I want to take your attention to Vigne&Vini. Especially to their 2010 ‘Papale Linea Oro’ Primitivo di Manduria DOP.

The wine is made with 100% Primitivo and aged in oak (not sure for how long though; maybe 12 months?). Intense ruby red color. On the nose, an explosion of aromas: Ripe red cherries, blackcurrant, wood-berry jam and hints of spices. Full-bodied, elegant and well-structured. Soft tannins. The finish was extremely long. The representative of Vigne&Vini was so kind to gift me a few bottles of wine after the trade show was over. Already looking forward to try them (some of them I did not try at the trade show)

Parting words

The Gambero Rosso World Tour was quite fun to attend; even though it was smaller than I thought it was going to be. What is better than a wine-full afternoon/evening with some friends?

My absolute favorites are the 2005 Cavit – Altemasi Graal – Trento DOC Riserva and the 2010 Vigne&Vini – Papale Linea Oro – Primitivo di Manduria DOP. I strongly recommend that you give them a try!

As always let me know if you have tried any of the wines and how you like them.

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19 comments on “Impressions From The 2013 Gambero Rosso World Tour Munich”

  1. wineking3 wineking3 Reply

    Great review, Julian, nice job. I agree with you that it’s quite weird that you were discouraged to take pictures. I’d love to try the Poggio al Tesoro Dedicato A Walter. It sounds like an excellent wine!

  2. foodwine88 Reply

    Nice summary! Enjoyed reading your tasting notes. Do you know if the Gambero Rosso World Tour will return to the US anytime soon? Maybe to Kentucky?

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      I know that the Gambero Rosso 2013 Tour already stopped in the US (San Francisco, Chicago and NYC). The Tour will probably return next year. Not sure if it will stop in Kentucky…

  3. drinkforlife Reply

    Haven’t tasted any of the above wines but maybe I will someday 😀
    What was wrong with all the white wines? It’s weird that you didn’t like any of them.. Especially during hot spring and summer days I find white wine to be a real enjoyment.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      I hope you will! Some were quite remarkable.
      Please don’t get me wrong. I like wine – actually I like it a lot but the white wines at the trade show disappointed me mostly.

  4. winetalks winetalks Reply

    Very nice post! I’m especially happy that one of your favorite wines was a Trento DOC! Absoltely love (Italian) sparklers. My favorite producer is Ferrari however. I’ve tried most of the Cavit line but haven’t had their Graal Riserva yet. Will see if I can find that in the US 🙂

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thanks for visiting. The Altimesi Graal Riserva is one of those sparklers for the special moments. Very much recommended. Let me know how you like it, I’m curious.

  5. Marco van Puff Reply

    I’m green with envy! You’re one lucky person to visit that many wine fairs. That Papale sounds like a good buy, I just checked the prices on Wine Searcher and it’s available for around $20 + shipping from Canada. I might actually order some 🙂

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Depending on the cost of shipping, 20$ seems to be a really good price. The producer said that the retail price is somewhere around 15€.

  6. Suzanne Reply

    Why so small i wonder. Judging from your review there were only a handful of wines that you would recommend. I am especially interested in trying the Papale. Next time I will attend the event in NYC!! Jealous of Anatoli!!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      I don’t really know why the fair was so small. Even the SlowWine trade show was more than twice the size of the Gambero Rosso event.
      Fellow-reader Marco just pointed out that the Papale Linea Oro can only be ordered from Canada.. But if you try it then please let me know how you like it! It was definitely the highlight of the tasting.

  7. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    Just like Suzanne, I wonder why the event was so small. Next year I’d love to attend the trade show in Vancouver.
    Thanks for sharing your recommendations : -)

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thanks for stopping by. I too wonder why the event was so small! Nevertheless it was a good experience and I’m looking forward to attend the tasting again next year. For wine lovers it’s definitely an event not to miss out but of course VinItaly 2014 is going to be way more fun 🙂

  8. Francis Reply

    Great summary! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    I’d love to go to one of their trade shows next year!

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