Gambero Rosso was founded in 1986 as a food and wine magazine for a daily Italian newspaper. Today it has established itself as a global authority on Italian wines. They publish on an annual basis The Vini d’Italia guide reviewing 20,000 wines and more than 2,500 wineries each year. The result is a carefully curated selection of wines celebrated for the skilled craftmanship of their winery and the impeccable wines they produce. The most coveted wines are awarded “Tre Bicchieri”.
Here is a list of 36 wines that were awarded the highly esteemed Gambero Rosso “Tre Bicchieri”. These wines represent the top wines of Italy. Next time you are shopping for great Italian wines, look no further and be sure to take this list. These are truly some of the best of the best wines of Italy. The article is divided into three separate posts. Part one is a journey through Northern Itay and the premier white wines of Veneto, Fruili and Alto Adige.
Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri Wines
BORTOLOMIOL Valdobbiadene Brut Ius Naturae 2019 (SRP $21) – Veneto Italy
Maria Elena, Elvira, Luisa and Giuliana Bortolomiol have successfully assumed the reigns of the winery founded by their father, Giuliano, immediately after the Second World War and turned Bortolomiol into one of the most appreciated brands in the world of sparkling wines. A dense network of local growers has proven an invaluable asset, as has the estate vineyards, which are overseen with the utmost respect for the environment. A new venture just outside Montalcino is the fulfillment of Giuliano’s Tuscan dream.
Tasting Notes – This Prosecco Superiore DOCG is made from 100% Glera in a brut style. The wine represents the typical freshness of Valdobbiadene and has beautiful fine persistent bubbles. It is fresh with notes of green apples, peach, thyme, and wisteria. The wine is round on the palate with richness and balance. The finish is beautiful with bright acidity and energy.
BIANCAVIGNA Conegliano Valdobbiadene Rive di Soligo Extra Brut 2019 (SRP $23) – Veneto Italy
Founded a few years ago, Elena and Enrico Moschetta’s winery has undertaken a path matched by few in the territory: finding a way for the appellation’s different identities to coexist under the same roof, from cultivation to winemaking, from fermentation to marketing. Often historic producers are only involved in a part of the supply chain, but Biancavigna brings them all together, making for a range that draws on the vineyards situated mainly in the eastern part of the DOCG.
Tasting Notes – The Biancavigna Rive is from a very special terroir with extreme slopes, constituting it as heroic terroir. The wine has a persistent and elegant perlage. On the nose, there are white fruits, apples, pears and nice mineral notes that are very prominent. These same notes carry through on the palate. There are bright herbaceous notes with sage and basil that are very prominent. This is a crisp and delicate bubbly that is very food-friendly. A truly elegant wine.
BORGOLUCE Valdobbiadene Rive di Collalto Extra Brut 2019 (SRP $35) – Veneto Italy
In the span of a few decades, Borgoluce has grown into one of the most interesting wineries in Conegliano Valdobbiadene, developing and benefiting from the enormous patrimony at its disposal. Many hectares of vineyards stretch throughout the heart of the hills of Susegana, but ample space is also left for woodlands, pastures and activities related to animal husbandry. All stages of production are carried out at their new winery, which was designed to have a low environmental impact, making for a range of great rigor and quality.
Tasting Notes – The 2019 Rive di Collalto Prosecco shows a wide spectrum of aromas with this beautiful single vineyard site. The wine is dry and harmonious on the palate with green herbs, flowers, pear and apples. The minerality is distinct and the mouthfeel is rich and intense with a touch of salinity on the finish.
I CAMPI Soave Classico Campo Vulcano 2018 (SRP $30) – Veneto, Italy
Founded almost as a lark about fifteen years ago, I Campi has become Flavio Prà’s primary job, with the winemaker considerably reducing his work as a consultant. His ten hectares of hillside plots can be found in Soave and Valpolicella, where volcanic soils alternate with marine marl, making for a range dedicated exclusively to traditional wines. The style is well defined according to the types: elegance and suppleness feature in their whites, while fullness and energy characterize their reds.
Tasting Notes – Campo Vulcano is the name of this Soave and it immediately reminds you of the volcanic soil from which it comes. Made with Garganega grapes, the wine has intense aromas and flavors. There are notes of sage and herbs on the nose. It is intensely fruity with citrus notes on the palate. The wine is characterized by its freshness, flavor and harmony. An exceptional wine.
LEONILDO PIEROPAN Soave Classico Calvarino 2018 (Retail $32) – Veneto Italy
If Soave is recognized as a quality wine today, a part of the credit must certainly go to the Pieropan family’s winery, now managed by brothers Dario and Andrea under the watchful eye of mother Teresita. A large estate, which today reaches into both classic Soave and eastern Valpolicella, is comprised of about seventy organically managed hectares. These give rise to a range of wines that play more on elegance and longevity than on richness and immediacy.
Tasting Notes – The Calvarino is an iconic Italian white wine. It has a brilliant straw color with delicate aromas of floral and spice. On the palate, there are tropical notes of pineapples and papaya. This Soave is elegant and savory with nice zippy acidity and minerality. It is a gastronomic wine that complements Italian food.
TENUTA LUISA Friuli Isonzo Friulano I Ferretti 2018 (Retail $20) – Friuli, Italy
Tenuta Luisa has firmly established itself as one of the best wine-producing estates in the region. Like every family-run business, it bears its simple agricultural origins proudly. In the early 1980s, Eddi Luisa inherited a few hectares of land and began to build its future by moving from mixed agriculture to viticulture. It’s since grown to 100 hectares and his sons Michele and Davide are working in perfect harmony.
Tasting Notes – This is a 100% Friulano, which is a native grape to the region. The wine has a deep yellow color. On the nose, there is a natural smokiness with notes of floral and fruit. On the palate, there are notes of peach, pear and grapefruits. A very attractive wine that is balanced with nice acidity and creamy texture. The wine is an extremely high-quality wine that is round and velvety on the finish.
TENUTA STELLA Collio Friulano 2019 (Retail $18) – Friuli, Italy
Tenuta Stella founded in 2010 by Sergio Stevanato, lies in the highest part of Collio, in the district of Dolegna, Scriò. Here the steep slopes guarantee a unique microclimate and ideal exposure to the sun’s rays. The soils are constituted of marine marl and sandstone. Known locally as ‘ponca’, it was brought to the surface long ago by the lifting of the Adriatic seabed. The winery focuses exclusively on native grape varieties with very small production.
Tasting Notes – The wine is rich in color with golden highlights. There is a nice concentration of flavors with rich fruits and almond notes. Fresh and persistent, this is a delicious wine with richness and a lively mineral finish.
EDI KEBER Collio Bianco 2018 (Retail – $32) – Friuli, Italy
Keber is synonymous with Collio. More than ten years have passed since he made a decision to produce one wine, one white that he would call simply ‘Collio’. His was nothing more than a return to his origins, as at one time there was no such thing as producing single-variety wines. Tocai Friulano, Malvasia Istriana and Ribolla Gialla were vinified together, and the result was a stylistic complexity that underlined the territory’s identity.
Tasting Notes – In the glass, there is a bright golden hue with a greenish tint. There are aromas of lemon, grapefruit, herbs and chamomile. On the palate, it is very gentle and round with expressive salinity and minerality. Bright notes of pear, pineapple and citrus energize the mouthfeel. This is a beautifully juicy wine with great texture.
TIARE – ROBERTO SNIDARCIG Collio Sauvignon 2019 (Retail $25) – Friuli, Italy
In Friulian dialect, ‘tiare’ means ‘land’. Indeed, it was Roberto Snidarcig’s attachment to the land he cultivates that inspired the name for his winery. In small steps, starting with a single hectare on the slopes of Monte Quarin, he managed to grow the producer both in numbers and quality, making it, in a short time, one of the most renowned in the region. Tiare is headquartered in Dolegna del Collio, in a new, spacious and well-equipped cellar, where Roberto continues undaunted in pursuit of growth.
Tasting Notes – The wine has a straw-yellow color with greenish reflections. There are intense and powerful aromatics of elderberry, pink grapefruit and mango. On the palate, it is fresh with excellent structure and complexity. This wine will age spectacularly.
BOSCO DEL MERLO Sauvignon Blanc Turranio 2019 (Retail $25) – Friuli, Italy
The winery headed by Carlo and Roberto Paladin is one of the region’s cornerstones, a large producer that operates mainly in the flat area stretching along the Adriatic coast between Veneto and Friuli. They have also expanded into Franciacorta and Chianti Classico. Their Veneto wines are structured into two distinct brands: Paladin, which is dedicated to early-drinking wines, and Bosco del Merlo, which explores the potential of each grape variety in its most suitable vineyard.
Tasting Notes – This Sauvignon Blanc has a pale yellow hue that glistens in the glass. There are aromatic scents of melon and peach. The palate is dry and decisive with considerable persistence. The wine is sophisticated and elegant and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
CANTINA KURTATSCH A. A. Sauvignon Kofl 2019 (Retail $29) – Alto Adige, Italy
An absolute leader in the Bassa Atesina (South Tyrolean Unterland), Cantina Kurtatsch is the southernmost cooperative in the region. From the wide valley floor of the Adige, the vines climb rapidly towards the Mendola, at 700 meters elevation, on the coolest sites in Penon, and then again up to around 900 meters in Graun. Othmar Donà knows how to manage grapes from such a complex territorial puzzle, dedicating the most significant plots to each selection. The result is a range of wines characterized by a strong territorial identity.
Tasting Notes – This is a powerful and dynamic wine with a bouquet that stands out with notes of sage, gooseberry, kiwi and elderflowers. The wine is dynamics and powerful in an impressive way. A mineral backbone gives Kofl additional complexity and length. This is an expressive wine with lots of energy. Kofl is beautiful to drink with intriguing complexity.
LA RONCAIA Eclisse 2018 (Retail $36) – Friuli, Italy
La Roncaia, which joined the Fantinel group in 1998, is based in Cergneu, a small hamlet of Nimis and an area made famous by Ramandolo, which is produced here together with Picolit. This irresistible pair of sweet wines, together with the area’s renowned whites and reds, adds to the Fantinel family’s already rich range, which avails itself of estates both in Collio and Gravel. Thus the producer is able to offer international markets a complete roster of regional specialties.
Tasting Notes – This wine is a perfect blend of 90% Sauvignon and 10% Picolit. There are notes of honey, peach, apricots, and papaya from the Sauvignon and white flowers notes from the Picolit. There is bright acidity with nice freshness and minerality on the palate. The wine has great depth, harmony and persistence. This is a gastronomic wine with its high acidity, long mouthfeel and complexity.