Free tasting | Friday, September 21, 2018 | 5-7PM
‘Brusco instead of Brewski’s? You got it! This native Italian style of sparkling, Lambrusco, means ‘wild grape’ and is the foxy life of any party. Lambrusco is a robust style of sparkling wine, named after the area that it’s from and is also a grape; there are at least 13 different indigenous Lambrusco grape varieties (not clones or sub-clones) and they all begin with the name Lambrusco. The most popular grape varieties are Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Grasparossa, and Lambrusco Salamino, which all produce dry or off-dry Lambrusco, and Lambrusco Reggiano which is known for producing slightly sweet Lambrusco. This style of sparkler thrives in northeastern Italy, in the Emilia-Romagna region, where Lambrusco originated and continues to thrive. If you crave a life-changing and authentic Emilia-Romagna experience, pair Lambrusco with chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano and thinly sliced prosciutto crudo drizzled with aceto balsamico di Modena.
Now let’s get nerdy (nerdier). Most Lambrusco wine production undergoes the Charmat method, which is when carbon dioxide (a by-product of fermentation) is trapped in a tank of fermenting grapes, and then bottled under pressure to create a bottle of sparkling wine. As Lambrusco is becoming more and more quality driven, and no longer considered to be “Italy’s Coca-Cola,” other sparkling wine methods are being utilized including the Ancestral Method and the Méthode Traditionnelle. The Ancestral Method is used to make most pét-nat (pétillant nature), or slightly sparkling glug-glug juice, as we like to call it. Pét-nat can be identified by the crown cap bottling the fizzy juice, which is used instead of a cork because the wine is not disgorged, and has no added dosage, or sugar addition, after the first fermentation process. These semi-sparklers undergo a secondary fermentation in bottle.
The Méthode Traditionnelle (also known as méthode Champenoise or metodo classico) is used to bottle all Champagne, but some Lambrusco producers, like Christian Bellei, bottle their Lambrusco using this method as well. What makes using Méthode Traditionnelle different than using the first winemaking method mentioned, Charmat method, is the resulting sparkling wine is left with the finesse of a fine Champagne – tiny bubbles, highly aromatic, and this tedious process of hand riddling and disgorging and tirage and so on, creates a Lambrusco with a bit more flair (not too much so, this is Lambrusco after all, and we love it like that – down to earth, happy, fun, and flirty).Every Lambrusco varies in taste (from lemon through strawberry to blackberry and plum) and in shades from a blushing rose to deep purple. So come taste Lambrusco in its entirety. Bubbles for all this Friday!
The Lambrusco Line-up!
NV Carra di Casatico ‘La Luna’ Lambrusco (Emilia-Romagna, Italy) | This Lambrusco, La Luna, is as romantic as the moon shining over the ocean. From the grape Lambrusco Maestri, its deep and plummy, with ripe jazzy acidity and tiny frothy bubbles. After being handpicked it underwent fermentation without the skins in stainless steel for 4-5 months. Notes of raspberries and blackberries.
Cleto Chiarli ‘Vecchia Modena’ Lambrusco di Sorbara (Emilia-Romagna, Italy) | Winemaker Cleto Chiarli adored Lambrusco and created his winery in 1860 with the intent on bringing the frothy, fresh goodness of this sparkling wine to as many people as possible! This Lambrusco is made with the Lambrusco di Sorbara grape. It’s the color of cantaloupe, light-bodied with a silky mouthfeel, and has notes of fresh strawberries.
2017 Fondo Bozole ‘Incantabiss’ (Lombardy, Italy) | Brothers Franco and Mario Accorsi found some old vines on their grandfather’s property in Lombardy and decided that Fate as telling them to make wine! This enthusiastic pair are particularly passionate about growing uncommon varietals of Lambrusco, like the one used in this Incantabiss, called Lambrusco Ruberti. This was grown on the banks of the Po River and has tart notes of cranberry and rhubarb.
2013 Cantine della Volta Lambrusco Bianco (Emilia-Romagna, Italy) | Just when you’ve wrapped your head about Lambrusco, winemaker Christian Bellei is there to push you to new limits of Lambrusco logic! This white Lambrusco is from the grape Lambrusco di Sorbara and is produced in the méthode Champenoise. Christian spent the 80’s as a winemaker in Champagne, France and noticed the grapes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced similar acidity to Lambrusco di Sorbara and when returning home he decided to create a Lambrusco Bianco withméthode Champenoise. After being hand harvested, the juice is immediately separated from the skins and is aged for 34 months on its lees. This makes a savory, herbaceous, and lemony Lambrusco that is truly one of a kind! Pair with Parm. Just do it.