Home > Italian wines, wine ratings, Wine Tasting > Gambero Rosso 2016: Master Class – Special Awards

Gambero Rosso 2016: Master Class – Special Awards

I recently wrote about discovering the new Italian wine region at the seminar at Gambero Rosso 2016 event (Custoza DOC). Following that was another new event for me – Vini d’Italia 2016 Special Awards Master Class.

More than 50,000 wines are tasted by the Gambero Rosso experts for each annual edition of the publication, which comprise more than 20,000 labels from 2,400+ wineries. In 2016, which was the 29th edition of the Gambero Rosso guide, there were 421 winners of the prestigious Tre Bicchieri status. In parallel, while the work is done to assess the wines for the Tre Bicchieri status, the wines are also considered for the Special Awards which are give in the 9 special categories – take a look at the picture below, this was our printout for taking the notes:

Vini d'Italia Special Awards

If you would look at my notes below, you would see that my opinion didn’t always match the designation of the wine – which is only important as an illustration to the point I always make when talking to the people who are afraid not to like the wine where someone else (an expert) said that the wine outstanding. Each palate is different, and your good wine is what you like, not someone else…

The presentation was led by charismatic Marco Sabellico,  Senior Editor of Gambero Rosso, and Eleonora Guerini, Curator of the guide “The Wines of Italy” by Gambero Rosso:

Marco Sabellico Senior Editor Gambero Rosso, Eleonora Guerini, Curator of the guide "The Wines of Italy" by Gambero Rosso

Here are my notes:

Category: Sparkler of the year
2006 Ca Del Bosco Franciacorta Dosage Zéro Noir Vintage Collection Riserva 
C: Gold
N: yeast, bread, concentrated
P: great complexity, yeasty, refreshing, crisp acidity
V: 8, excellent sparkling wine

Category: Best value for money
2014 Terre Stregate Falanghina del Sannio Svelato Campania ($10)
C: light golden
N: beautiful concentrated nose, sweet, concentrated, musk aroma
P: clean, good acidity, lots of musk undertones, spicy pear
V: 7, a bit too much on the palate

Category: White of the year
2014 Schiopetto Collio Friulano
C: light golden
N: light fruit notes, fresh, touch of minerality
P: nice, restrained, white stone fruit, good acidity, good balance
V: 8-, nice aging potential

Category: Award for sustainable viticulture
2013 Manincor A.A. Terlano Sauvignon Tannenberg Trentino-Alto Adige
C: straw pale
N: vanilla, butter, petrol
P: delicious play of fruit, restrained, tropical fruit, vanilla, playful, great acidity
V: 8, my favorite white wine of the tasting

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Category: Red of the year
2012 Pietradolce Etna Rosso Vigna Barbagalli Sicily (15% ABV)
C: red brick
N: volcanic, smoke, red fruit
P: nice tannins, fresh red fruit, a bit astringent, long finish
V: 8, needs time

Category: Grower of the year
2012 Ca’ del Baio Barbaresco Asili 
C: dark Ruby
N: fresh fruit! Strawberries, raspberries, violet, wow
P: excellent balance, fresh tannins, good red fruit, but really tannic finish
V: 8, will improve

Category: Up-and-coming winery
2012 Guado al Melo Bolghery Rosso Superiore Atis (Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Cabernet Franc 20%, Merlot 20%)
C: dark Ruby, almost black
N: “Rutherford dust”, black currants, eucalyptus
P: powerful tannins, firm structure, fruit is layered under, very powerful wine overall
V: 8-, definitely needs time

Category: Winery of the year
2011 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
C: dark Ruby, almost black
N: dried fruit, roasted meat
P: nice concentration, powerful tannins, tar, tobacco, alcohol burn on back end
V: 7+, needs more balance…

La Crotta di Vegneron Valle d’Aosta Chambave Moscato Passito Prieuré

Category: Sweet of the year
2013 La Crotta di Vegneron Valle d’Aosta Chambave Moscato Passito Prieuré
C: golden
N: beautiful, clean, candied apricots, candied orange
P: perfect balance, clean fruit. Yes, it is sweet, but it has perfect acidic backbone, and it doesn’t overpower the palate.
V: 9, outstanding. Yes, I’m a sucker for the good sweet wines, you can call me that.

As you can tell, the dessert wine was my favorite wine of the tasting – well, you can read anything you want into that…

In the next post, I will be talking about Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri tasting itself, so until the next time – cheers!

To be continued…

  1. March 9, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful way to spend some time.

    • talkavino
      March 12, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Gambero Rosso is a great event John. May be you can join us next year? I’m sure you can find a reason to be in New York for a few days in February 🙂

  2. March 10, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I like the format. Seems like a neat model for tasting.

    • talkavino
      March 12, 2016 at 7:30 am

      The format here is pretty much a standard seminar tasting. Yes, it is nice to taste the wines in the sit down setting with ample time to evaluate each wine.

      • March 12, 2016 at 8:37 am

        I like how they presented “best ofs” too.

  1. March 21, 2016 at 1:43 pm

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