A different and unique alternative to Prosecco, Cava and other sparkling wines, Lambrusco has a wide range of personalities. It can have bracing acidity, grippy tannins, be savory and sweet [separately or at the same time]. At its core, the best Lambrusco are fruity and dry. These varying characteristics make it super easy to pair with a wide variety of dishes and enjoying on its own. For entertaining purposes, it’s perfect, because there is a Lambrusco for just about every palette.
I had the great pleasure of meeting 4th generation winemaker Alberto Medici, of Medici Ermete, one of the oldest Lambrusco producing families in Emilia-Romagna. He is a pioneering force in Lambrusco, not only crafting award-winning wines, but also the first to create a single vineyard, vintage Lambrusco.
Here are 4 fantastic character driven Lambrusco; tart and sassy, fresh and fruity, elegant and refined, sweet and refreshing. All 4 will brighten your festive spirit and holiday tidings! Cheers!
Medici Ermete ‘I Quercioli’ Dolce Reggiano Lambrusco DOC NV
A blend of Salamino Lambrusco and Marani Lambrusco. Bright acidity maintains the fresh snap of sweet fruits [think raspberry, blackberry and cranberry]. Floral hints and fizz add to the cheerful character. Super refreshing, lovely on its own, or with a wide variety of food, from pizza to desserts.
$10 [average price]
Medici Ermete ‘I Quercioli’ Secco Reggiano Lambrusco DOC NV
A blend of Salamino Lambrusco and Marani Lambrusco [Alberto explained the Marani brings the balancing acidity] from vines in clay soils. Wonderfully tart blackberry and raspberry with rose petal accents and a lively, concentrated fizziness. Dry and refreshing, fantastically easy drinking.
$15 [average price]
Medici Ermete ‘Solo’ Reggiano Rosso DOC 2016
Grapes come from the acclaimed Tenuta I Quercioli vineyards with clay soil. Wild berries are the star, complimented by an herbaceous streak, fine bubbles and a dry mineral finish. Fantastic on its own and incredibly versatile at the table [from pumpkin dishes to cheesy pastas to cured meats].
51% Ancellota, 49% Lambrusco Salamino.
$16 [average price]
Medici Ermete ‘Concerto’ Reggiano Lambrusco DOC 2016
Concerto is the first single vineyard vintage Lambrusco produced. Grapes are from the prestigious Tenuta La Rampata vineyard. Close to the river, the clay soil has many little stones. The juice is kept in contact with the skins for a full 6 days. Fresh strawberry, raspberry and cherry are framed by dry tannins, bright acidity, elegant bubbles and clean minerality. Finishing dry and fruity. That pioneering, progressive spirit is reflected in each well balanced, engaging, fizzy sip.
100% Salamino Lambrusco
$20 [average price]
Samples submitted for review purpose.