Gambero Rosso Top Italian Roadshow 2017 came to town on 10 Mar 2017. Pictures of this event can be viewed via this following link:
Gambero Rosso 2017 Roadshow in Singapore
Held at Chijmes Hall, this event showcased wines from 64 wine producers across Italy.
Over the last few years, this show has been garnering good support among local trade folks. Around 1,000 wine enthusiasts attended this year’s masterclasses and grand tasting. The rise in local demand for Italian wines certainly provides a good reason for the organizers to continue having Singapore as one of the destination to visit when touring this part of the world. Apart from Singapore, this show has been held in places like Seattle (USA), Cape Town (Africa), Hanoi (Vietnam), Seoul (South Korea), Osaka (Japan) and Sydney (Australia). Snippets provided by the local organizer of this event highlight the growth in local demand: “The latest trade statistics from Euromonitor (2016) showed that imports of Italian Wines has doubled in volume, from 1.3 million litres in 2009 to 2.7 million litres in 2014”.
Ms Radhika Ojha (President of Felicitas Gobal) invited Hon Ivan Scalfarotto (Italy’s Undersecretary of State for Economic Development) and Mr Luigi Salerno (CEO, Gambero Rosso Holdings) to offer the inaugural speech.
This was followed by masterclasses on Italian wines. Three sessions were conducted during this event. Marco Sabellico, Lorenzo Ruggeri and local wine specialist Lim Hwee Peng helmed these sessions. Participants for each session had the opportunity to taste and learn about 20 wines coming from different wine regions across Italy. I like this format as it offers participants a quick snapshot of wines produced across Italy’s different wine regions. Participants get to taste wines not only from the well known but also the less familiar wine regions as well. Hwee Peng provided additional insights on how these wines can be paired with Singapore’s local cuisine.
The grand tasting session was held in the afternoon at Chijmes Hall. There was a good number of local merchants standing at the wine tables showcasing Italian labels they represent. In the attempt to name a few I can include: Culina Pte Ltd, Ferrari Food+Wine Pte Ltd, Enoteca Singapore, The B.I.G. Wine Company Pte Ltd, The Italian Wine List Pte Ltd, Luigi’s Wines Pte Ltd. and Pinnacle Wine & Spirits Pte Ltd.
The regular stalwarts (referring to wine producers) from Piedmont, Tuscany and Veneto wine regions were adequately represented. What was interesting was the possibility for curious wine enthusiasts to move further afield from beyond these recognized grounds and discover varietals and wines from other wine regions as well.
In between taking pictures of this event, I had the opportunity to find a few interesting yet not often found wines in Singapore. They were:
Castorani Winery (Abruzzo) had Podere Castorani Metodo Classico; a sparkling Passerina with 2nd fermentation done in bottle and bottle aged for 3 years. Underlying the fresh and vibrant personality of this wine there was a degree of complexity and a good backbone which made for a pleasing sip. My first experience in tasting a Passerina made in the sparkling style I must add.
The light-bodied, fresh and 'easy to approach' style of Pecorino was produced by
Cantina Tollo (Pecorino Terre di Chieti 2016). Castorani Winery on the other hand had a more complex wine, the Pecorino Amori 2015. Produced via cold maceration before fermentation and later aged in lees for a few months, this Pecorino wine certainly displayed good weight and a noticeable ‘oily’ texture in palate.
A Barbera made into a white wine
A curiosity was Castello di Cigognola’s Bianca 2015 from Lombardy. It produced a white wine made from the red varietal Barbera. It showed a fresh, crisp, light personality; with a noticeable suppleness in body and kept vibrant by a good showing of acidity. (It’s locally sold by Bacco Wines SG).
Among the reds, Velenosi Winery’s Lacrima di Morro d’Alba 2015 (Marche) drew curious wine enthusiasts to the table with its easily noticable rose aroma. The Lacrima varietal and wine is again a less known sip in Singapore. The only one I have tried locally before was by Luccheti).
Other not so commonly seen varietals which were showcased during this event were: Refosco varietal by Zorzettig (Friuli), FCO Refosco P.R. 2015; the Lagrein varietal by Cantina Produttori San Michele Appiano (Alto Adige) A.A. Lagrein Riserva 2014 and the Nero di Troia varietal wines by Torrevento, Castel del Monte Nero di Troia Ottagono Riserva 2014 & Nero di Rroia Torre del Falco 2014.
Corniva which usually shows itself as part of a blend within Valpolicella reds (including Amarones) showed itself as a single varietal wine in Tenuta Sant' Antonio's Scaia Corvina 2014.
Elvio Cogno had an interesting Barolo V. Elena Riserva 2010 produced exclusively using the Nebbiolo Rose varietal; a limited production (around 5,000 bottles a particular year) where capacity is concerned. (When the owner-producer Valter Fissure was in Singapore last year, trade folks had the opportunity to taste the 2009 vintage).
This and similar wine events are important. They provide participants a broader view into what a country has to offer the world in relation to its wines. Often it highlights the possibility of there being more to discover than what a wine enthusiast might presently find in local wine retail outlets.