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Ferrari (Italy) Brut Metodo Classico
Well, it is Saint Valentine's day tomorrow, so I guess some of you old romantics will be looking for some bubbly to go with the soft-centred chocs and mushy cards. This Italian sparkling wine costs more than supermarket Champagnes, but there's a good reason for that. From Trentino in the far north, Ferrari was first produced in 1902 when Giulio Ferrari began a lifelong quest to produce finest Champagne-method spumante wine in Italy. Twenty-eight year old Chardonnay vines are hand-picked from Ferrari's own estate, and the wine is vinified following strict Champagne-like conditions for production and ageing. The result is a terrific sparkling wine that bubbles vigorously in the glass, and reveals a nose of gently herbal, softly yeasty lemon and crunchy apple fruit. There is good depth, with a pear skin quality and just a hint of caramel. On the palate this is mouthfilling and flooded with lemony fruit. It has real crunch and vibrancy, that broadens out with some peachier notes, but then a bracing grapefruit acidity powers through the finish. Very fine wine this, and a lovely match with a creamy smoked-salmon pasta. Oddbins 14.95.