I Like ’Em Older
Deep amber yellow. The color is the first give-away that we’re talking age here. Of course, the 2001 vintage on the label of the Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore ($100) already shouts out, “I’m 11 years old!” But sometimes sight and taste speak louder than numbers. Neither life nor wine are logical!
Ferrari is a sparkling winery after my own heart for the simple reason that it prizes chardonnay. In fact, its basic brut is a blanc de blancs. And the rest of its line consists of variations on this stylistic theme, the top-of-the-line Giulio Ferrari — named after the founder of the house — being the most voluptuous and intense version of this theme.
The mere fact that the Giulio Ferrari is aged for a minimum of 10 years before release says a lot about the intentions behind this line: rarity, luxury, joy. Rarity because it’s always an illogical business decision to keep a wine parked in the cellar longer than the appellation requirement. It’s always a stylistic decision rather than a practical one. Luxury because wines that have been perfectly aged, stored and released when they are ready to drink account for such a small percentage of the market. Anyone who has had the “luxury” to indulge in older wines will tell you it’s a path to addiction. Joy because this is no fresh babe, but a confident woman. There’s no mistaking the two. There’s no awkward moment in the interaction. The conversation flows, inspires and keeps your attention.
I have a penchant for single-vineyard sparklers, so it should be no surprise that this wine comes from the Maso Pianizza vineyard in Trento, 600 meters above sea level. Think a pot of honey, some sea salt, roasted nuts, preserved yellow fruits, incredibly chewy and creamy texture. Irresistible.
2005 Perlé Nero ($90)
A break in tradition for this chardonnay-driven house, a 100% pinot noir sparkler.
A terroir-driven blanc de noirs that is an elegant version of the alpine pinot noirs.
Fried chicken salad (I almost went to heaven several times…).
Taiwan alternative pop group Mary See The Future’s “Yes, I Am” album.