Gambero Rosso: the prestigious "Tre bicchieri" 2021
A preview of the excellences awarded by the most important Italian wine guide
Founded in 1986 as a food and wine supplement to the Italian daily newspaper il manifesto, Gambero Rosso is today the most established publishing company in the sector. Present throughout Italy with numerous branches, it gave birth to the Città del Gusto in Rome and from its ranks the Slow Food movement sprung up. In extremely influential annual publications, it reviews restaurants, pizzerias, ice cream parlours and of course wines. The Vini d'Italia guide, now printed not only in Italian, but also in English, German, Japanese and Chinese, reviews about 20,000 wines and more than 2,500 wineries each year, and is considered the most authoritative at international level.
Gambero Rosso wine tasters have always used a deft graphic evaluation system, assigning the wines, as a maximum score, a logo representing three red glasses. Wines that express themselves ably but not at the same level can acquire one or two glasses. An independent, selective and far from generous guide divides tastings by region and assigns the Tre Bicchieri to excellence proven by strict blind tasting sessions. From these champions of Italian wine, a number of superlative wines are also selected for specific categories: the best red, the best white, and so on up to the wine and the winemaker of the year.
The North... not only Piedmont
Piedmont dominates, but there are amazing surprises even outside of His Majesty the Nebbiolo. The erbaluce and the barbera always rank highly. The white-wine regions make a clean sweep, with Friuli and Alto Adige on the forefront, of course. Splendid awards, in Lombardy, go to the sparkling wines of Oltrepò Pavese, which are still partly to be discovered. The Veneto region deserves a special mention, which is not only popular with Amarone, but also with some magnificent prosecco for true connoisseurs (but at very competitive prices!). In Liguria, Lunae is the great confirmation.
The Centre: the Tuscan galaxy
The most mythical region of Italian wine is confirmed in all its splendour, thanks to wonderful vintages that have brought Chianti, Brunello and many Super tuscans to the top of the world. Emilia surprises us with many Lambrusco Tre Bicchieri, a sign of an increasingly quality-oriented reality: try them! Small pearls from the Marche region, with the extraordinary, and incredibly cheap, Verdicchio di Collestefano, a very affordable organic champion. Umbria and Lazio offer other rare gems not to be missed.
The "laboratory" of the South
The South expresses itself here and there, but when it does, the Tre Bicchieri shine. This is the case in Abruzzo, which has the highest recognition with all the typical vines of the region, from Trebbiano to Pecorino to Montepulciano. Campania again sees itself as a laboratory for white wine, with beautiful falanghina surprises: a grape which should be entirely re-evaluated. Surprises also from Puglia, where verdecaand susumaniello are eating away at the space normally occupied by the usual primitivo and negroamaro. Nothing unexpected from the islands: the great Sardinian reds, and, in Sicily, Etna, always accompanied by Ben Ryé, the Passito di Pantelleria winner of the three glasses.