Free tasting | Saturday, January 13, 2018 | 4-6PM
Exploring Emilia-Romagna, Italia
The Emilia-Romagna region of north-central Italy lies in the fruitful Po River Valley. It’s one of the most fertile and productive regions of Italy, thanks to the mitigating effect that the Adriatic Sea has on the coastal climate. This is the land of Giuseppe Verdi’s novels, Giovanni Pascoli’s poetry, and Federico Fellini’s magnificent cinema. Bologna is Emilia-Romagna’s chief city and regional capital boasting the oldest university in Europe. Emilia-Romagna is a food and wine paradise too, and home to Lambrusco. Great Lambrusco exists, and we’ll have some open for you to try. Paired with traditional salumi and prosciutto slices, a bit of Parmigiano (also from Emilia-Romagna), Lambrusco can’t get any better. Ci vediamo questo Sabato allora…so we’ll see you on Saturday!
2015 Al Di La Del Fiume 'Fricando' – $28
Emilia-Romagna has a long history of winemaking (since the 7th century BC) but only became a player with distributing their wines worldwide in the last twenty years. The residents of the region are passionate about combining traditional winemaking methods and native grapes like the winemakers of Fricando. Their winery is biodynamic and uses amphora to age their wine, like the Ancient Greeks and Phoenicians did before wooden barrels were invented. Whole clusters of this Albana (an indigenous grape to Emilia-Romagna) is put into Tuscan amphora vats and then allowed to macerate and ferment with ambient yeasts. This is a full-bodied 'orange' wine with notes of bright, lemony herbs, orange peel, and wet stone.
Alberici Amilcare 'La Fogarina', Boretto – $20
"Oh, how beautiful the Fogarina grape is, oh how beautiful it is to know how to harvest it..." This is a playful song in Emilia-Romagna, ironically about the newly resurrected Fogarina grape, that was the 2nd most popular grape in Emilia in the early part of the 20th century. The grape fell off in popularity and was considered extinct until a few farmers, including the Alberici family, found a few abandoned vines in a forgotten corner of their vineyard! Their sparkling Fogarina Lambrusco is frisky with tart currant notes and a vegetal undercurrent.
Fondo Bozzole 'Cocai' Brut Rosato – $22
Beside the Lombardy border, brothers Franco and Mario Accorsi focus on creating wines from nearly extinct indigenous Lambrusco varietals, such as this Lambrusco Marani grape in their ‘Cocai’. They came to this profession naturally as their grandfather Enzo started the family farm by growing strange local varietals of apples and pears. Today the vineyards and fruit trees grow side by side and all are certified organic. The Cocai is a deep crimson pink, a happy wine full of bubbles, raspberry notes, and pomegranate pith.
2014 Il Farneto 'Berzmein', Castellarano – $20
Picture lush rolling hills that are sprinkled with fields of golden yellow fields and lush green grass – that is western Emilia-Romagna. Il Farneto, an 8-hectare vineyard in-between the hills of Scandiano and Castellarano, is a biodynamic winery from Marco Bertoni, a young 30-something winemaker who we had the pleasure of meeting in Italy last year. Berzmein is from the Marzemino grape, grown on sandy clay soil at 250m above sea level. It’s totally natural, unfiltered, and filled with structured notes of juicy figgy pudding. There is a wild freshness to Marco’s wines. When sipping this Marzemino, your heart and soul are transported immediately to Italy.
2011 La Stoppa 'Macchiona', Piacenza – $40
The Pantaleoni family, who have a long lineage of winemaking in their bones, revealed in the 1990's that their wine wasn't living up to its full potential on their 32-hectare vineyard in Piaenza. They had been growing international varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that on their land, turned into flabby and bland wines. Curiously, they took a long hard look at their land with its looming forest and clay soils and listened to what it craved. After digging up all of their previous grapes, the Pantaleoni's replaced them with native grapes like Bonarda, Barbera, and Malvasia. The difference is unmistakable: the soil makes the grapes sing, and it shows in this earthy and dark berry blend of Bonarda and Barbera. After being aged for two years in Slavonian oak, it is aged for two more years in bottle before being is released. Rich, meaty, earthy, elegant.