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.
The 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.
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.
We 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
We 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.
Last 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)
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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