Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
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  Wine Producers Issue 18, April 2004   
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Ferrari - Fratelli Lunelli

A historical name connected to the production of the Italian classic method sparkling wine, a prestigious winery from Trentino which also produces great wines and refined grappas

 The history of the Italian classic method sparkling wine is indissolubly related to the precious work of Giulio Ferrari who in the beginning of the last century decided to turn his passion into reality, the one of producing classic method sparkling wines in his homeland: Trentino. In 1902 and at 23 years old only, Giulio Ferrari, expert viticulturist and enologist, establishes in Trento his winery that will deeply mark the development of Italian enology and bubbles. The young Giulio Ferrari studies at the Imperial Regia Scuola Agraria di San Michele (Imperial and Royal School of Agriculture of San Michele) and later at the renowned School of Agriculture of Montpellier in France. After having worked for some time in Epernay, in the heart of Champagne, he learns the secrets of the production of classic method sparkling wine that he will then adopt in his Trentino. Exacting, strict and determined, Giulio Ferrari in few years is successful in producing his renowned sparkling wine and that will just be the beginning of a repeated success in Italy and in the world.


A view of Villa Margon
A view of Villa Margon

 In 1952 Bruno Lunelli, father of the current owners, bought from Giulio Ferrari both the trademark and the winery of his prestigious sparkling wines. At those times were produced about 9000 bottles and every one of them was reserved with many years in advance. In 1969 Bruno Lunelli passes the management of the winery to his sons: Gino and Franco, responsible for the administration and the chairmanship, and Mauro, together with the father Bruno, in the cellar and responsible for the production of the noble bubbles, renowned in the world as Spumante Classico Ferrari. Thanks to the experience acquired from the historical sparkling wines Ferrari Demi-Sec and Ferrari Maximum Brut, Mauro Lunelli develops a scrupulous experimentation and research based on taste and style that were getting more and more international and common. In the course of the years, also thanks to the repeated worldwide success, today Ferrari continues to be among the most appreciated and famous Italian sparkling wines in the world. The variety of production has grown up and today, besides Ferrari Brut, Ferrari Rosé, Demi-Sec and Maximum Brut, are also produced the millesimée Ferrari Perlé, Ferrari Perlé Rosé and the renowned and extraordinary Riserva del Fondatore Giulio Ferrari.

 Ferrari's classic method sparkling wines born and ages now in a new cellar: an area of thirty thousands square meters (about 35,880 square yards) where more than fifteen millions of bottles of different vintages are left to age. Every year are released on the market and consumed about four millions and five hundreds thousand bottles, however the spirit and the soul of spumante Ferrari, its conscience and its emotion, are the ones which respected from the very beginning the principle of “from vineyards to the table”. All Ferrari's classic method sparkling wines are exclusively produced with grapes cultivated in Trentino and coming from family vineyards as well as from historical vintner friends. The production of the cellar is made by 8 enologists led by Mauro Lunelli to whom he passes every year the fundaments and the principles of that art and of that passion which made Spumante Ferrari renowned and important.


Bottles of sparkling wine on pupitres
Bottles of sparkling wine on pupitres

 The Lunelli family, rich in secular experience acquired in the production of classic method sparkling wine, in the 1980's decides to expand its production with dry still wines, obtained with grapes coming from family owned vineyards and cultivated in the hills of Trento. Today the Lunelli Winery produces both white wines and red wines, bodied and structured, that well express the typicality and the enological vocation of Trentino. The consciousness of the certainty that a great wine is obtained from quality grapes, led Lunelli winery to look for Masi and Ville that could worthily represent the enological soul of the territory. Based on this concept were born the whites Villa Margon and Villa Gentilotti, in both present Chardonnay, and Villa San Nicolò produced with Sauvignon Blanc grape. In the 1990's, after some years of experimentation, are produced two red wines, both belonging to Trentino DOC: Maso Le Viane, made with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, and Maso Montalto, produced with Pinot Noir. These wines, with remarkable possibilities of aging in bottle, are being aged in wood containers, with care and mastery, in order to keep the personality of the grapes used for the production.

 Classic method sparkling wines and still wines would be considered enough to well represent a remarkable production of every winery, however the Lunelli family is also involved in the production of refined grappas - the historical trademark Segnana - after all in a region like Trentino having strong and important connections with this distillate, it could also be seen as normal. Segnana makes grappa since 1860 and in the beginning was just a mobile distillery, with the equipment installed on a cart hauled by horses with which Paolo Segnana used to go directly to wineries and there he distilled, in front of everyone, the pomace in order to make grappa. At the end of the 1880's the distillery was established at Borgo Valsugana and in a short time became an important reference model for Trentino's grappa. In 1982 Segnana was acquired by Lunelli family and the grappa they produce is considered as a son of the “wine family” because it is produced with the pomace used for the production of Ferrari spumante, softly pressed and rich in must.


 

 Today the distillery was moved in Trento, near the Ferrari winery, in order to mark the bond between grappa Segnana and Ferrari Spumante. The grappas are exclusively produced with a steam operated batch distillation, moreover Segnana is a member of the Istituto Tutela Grappa del Trentino (Institute for the Safeguarding of Trentino Grappa). A particular mention goes to grappa Solera, exclusively produced with selected pomace from Trentino and aged in cask with the Solera method, the same used for the production of the renowned Jerez (Sherry) and Marsala. The obtained grappa is of absolute elegance and benefits from the particular and prolonged aging in wood. Because of its peculiar qualities and in order to better appreciate this special grappa, it is best to serve it at room temperature and in balloon glasses. Interesting are also the possible matchings that can be created with this particular grappa, such as with cigars or chocolate, in which the alcohol and roundness of the distillate contribute to the harmony of the matching.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Trentino Bianco Villa Margon 2001, Fratelli Lunelli (Italy)
Trentino Bianco Villa Margon 2001
Fratelli Lunelli (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay (80%), Pinot Blanc (10%), Sauvignon Blanc, Incrocio Manzoni (10%)
Price: € 10,00 Score:
The wine shows a pale straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and elegant aromas which start with hints of apple and pineapple followed by aromas of hawthorn, hazelnut, pear, grapefruit, plum, yeast and hints of vanilla and toasted wood. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing. The finish is persistent with flavors of pineapple, pear and plum. A well made wine. Part of this wine ferments in cask. Villa Margon is aged for 8 months in bottle.
Food Match: Mushrooms soups, Stuffed pasta, Roasted fish, Roasted white meat



Trentino Rosso Maso Le Viane 1999, Fratelli Lunelli (Italy)
Trentino Rosso Maso Le Viane 1999
Fratelli Lunelli (Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Price: € 23,90 Score:
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry jam and blueberry jam followed by good aromas of blackberry jam, dried plum, dried violet, vanilla, licorice, tobacco and hints of cocoa and cinnamon. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however well balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, good tannins. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum and blueberry jam. A well made wine. Maso Le Viane is aged for at least 18 months in cask followed by at least 18 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Game, Hard cheese



Trento Ferrari Brut, Ferrari (Italy)
Trento Ferrari Brut
Ferrari (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay (95%), Pinot Noir (5%)
Price: € 16,80 Score:
The wine shows a pale straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, fine and persistent perlage, good effervescence. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas that start with hints of apple and acacia followed by aromas of banana, yeast, brioche, lemon, litchi, pear and grapefruit. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, an effervescent and crisp attack however balanced, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of pear and lemon. This sparkling wine is produced with the classic method and ages on yeasts for 24 months.
Food Match: Aperitifs, Crustaceans, Fried fish, Pasta and risotto with fish and vegetables



Trento Ferrari Rosť, Ferrari (Italy)
Trento Ferrari Rosé
Ferrari (Italy)
Grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Price: € 19,30 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant onion pink and nuances of onion pink, fine and persistent perlage, good effervescence. The nose denotes intense, clean and pleasing aromas which start with hints of tangerine, raspberry and cherry followed by aromas of strawberry, yeasts, bread crust and peach. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, an effervescent and crisp attack however balanced, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of tangerine and cherry. This sparkling wine is produced with the classic method and ages on yeasts for at least 24 months.
Food Match: Mushrooms and vegetables soups, Crustaceans, Pasta and risotto with fish and vegetables



Grappa Chardonnay, Segnana (Italy)
Grappa Chardonnay
Segnana (Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay
Price: € 16,12 - 500ml (17 fl.oz.) Score: Wine that excels in its category
This grappa shows with no color and crystalline. The nose reveals intense, persistent and elegant aromas of pear, hazelnut, apple, banana, walnut, hay with imperceptible alcohol pungency. The taste is intense, persistent, well balanced and non aggressive alcohol with good correspondence to the nose, round and agreeable. The finish is intense and persistent with hints of sweetness, clean and agreeable, with flavors of pear and banana. This grappa is produced with the pomace used for the production of spumante Ferrari.



Grappa Solera, Segnana (Italy)
Grappa Solera
Segnana (Italy)
Price: € 18,43 - 500ml (17 fl.oz.) Score: Wine that excels in its category
The grappa shows a deep and brilliant amber yellow color, crystalline. The nose reveals good personality with intense, persistent, refined and elegant aromas of dried fig, vanilla, dried plum, apple, pear, hazelnut, tobacco, caramel, honey and licorice. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, intense, persistent, balanced, round, non aggressive alcohol. The finish is intense and persistent with hints of sweetness and flavors of licorice, vanilla, dried plum, caramel, honey and hints of toasted wood. A very well made grappa. This grappa ages in cask by using the Solera method.



Ferrari - Fratelli Lunelli - Via del Ponte di Ravina, 15 - 38040 Trento (Italy) - Tel. (+39) 0461 972311 Fax (+39) 0461 913008 - Winemaker: Mauro e Marcello Lunelli, Ruben Larentis - Established: 1902 - Production: 4.500.000 bottles - E-Mail: info@ferrarispumante.it - WEB: www.ferrarispumante.it


 Wine Tasting  Share this article     Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 18, April 2004   
Ferrari - Fratelli LunelliFerrari - Fratelli Lunelli Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
Issue 17, March 2004 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 19, May 2004

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