Medici Ermete: Pioneers of the New Lambrusco

4th generation winemaker Alberto Medici.

Estate: Located between the Via Emilia and the first of the hills in the Enza valley of Emilia-Romagna, the heart of northern Italy, Medici Ermete is one of the oldest producers of Lambrusco.  With a goal of “making the most of the family vineyards”, Remigio Medici founded the estate in the late 19th century. Today, the 75 hectare estate is headed by the 4th generation of the Medici family, Alberto Medici, along with his cousin, Pierluigi, and his sister, Alessandra. Pioneering high quality Lambrusco for over 120 years, Medici Ermete is the first winery in the region to craft single vineyard wines. Additionally, vineyard yields are kept at 40% below DOC mandates, and only natural fermentation [Charmat Method] is used.

Philosophy: To be “in complete harmony with nature and the environment” thereby “creating a close link between the individual vineyards and the wines produced”.

I had the great pleasure of a guided tasting thru the Medici Ermete wines with Alberto Medici at the recent 6th Annual Kobrand Tour d’Italia. Friendly, gracious and knowledgeable, he is a tremendous advocate for an often misunderstood wine.

The following wines should be enjoyed within 2 years of the vintage, and have a recommended serving temperature of 57-59°F [13-15°C].

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 fruit with floral accents and a lively fizziness. Dry and refreshing, fantastically easy drinking.
11% Alcohol
$15 [average price]

Medici Ermete ‘Solo’ Reggiano Rosso DOC 2016
Grapes come from the acclaimed Tenuta I Qurecioli vineyards with clay soil. Wild berries are the star, complimented by 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.
11.5% Alcohol
$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, fine bubbles and clean minerality. Finishing dry and fruity. That pioneering, progressive spirit is reflected in each well balanced, engaging, fizzy sip.
100% Salamino Lambrusco
11.5% Alcohol
$20 [average price]

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 red fruits. Floral hints and fizz add to the cheerful character. Lovely on its own, or with a wide variety of food, from pizza to desserts. [After a day of tasting 50+ wines, this is the glass I chose to end the day on. I can’t reiterate its refreshing, fun character enough.]
8.5% Alcohol
$10 [average price]

 

Media event sponsored by Kobrand

Peter Lauer ‘Senior’ Fass 6 Riesling 2016

Estate: With its distinctive microclimate, the Saar region of the Mosel is regarded as one of the premium Riesling producing areas, and winemaker Florian Lauer is recognized as “one of the greatest winemakers in this sacred place”. Lauer’s vineyards are located on the hillsides of the Kupp, and it has been his life’s work to preserve his family’s old vines [up to 100 years in age]. For an in-depth look at Florian Lauer’s pioneering Riesling and estate history, click here.

Philosophy: Lauer’s goal is to craft “stylish wines with elegance, not too alcoholic but with depth and density”.

Winemaking: The estate is organic and adamantly utilizes spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts. Vineyard parcels are harvested separately and fermented with their own natural yeasts, allowing the vineyard’s character full expression. The word “fass” [barrel] seen on many of the labels, is an identifier of each wine and vineyard parcel. ‘Senior’ is considered by Lauer as “a village-level wine”, however it is a single vineyard wine with an average vine age of 70 years, sourced completely from the Ayler Kupp.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold with green hues in colour. Aromas of apple, honey and minerals abound. Sunny apple, honey, lemon and a trace of rosemary are underscored by bright acidity. A nuance of petrol accents fresh citrus and minerals on the clean finish. Well balanced and focused.

100% Riesling
Mosel
Germany
11.5% Alcohol
$29
Enjoy now thru 2026

Summer in a Can: Tiamo Organic Canned Wines

I consider myself a very savvy bevvie-on-the-go person. I’m renowned for being able to carry an always cool Rosé wherever I go. When I heard about the new Tiamo organic wine [made with off the beaten path grapes, Montepulciano and Grillo] in a can, I was onboard. I paired them with the beach, popcorn and long walks on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Not only wonderfully incognito and convenient, they taste really good!

Brand: Tiamo wines are one of the many labels of the pioneering, British husband and wife team of Mel and Janie Master, their son Charlie along with the Sager family. Renowned for bringing great value wines to the US, Mel was responsible for introducing and promoting the wines of Georges Duboeuf in the US. Through the years, the duo has consistently brought fantastic value wines to the US, along with setting up their own wineries [Jordan Winery, Les Jamelles, Tortoise Creek].

In addition to the cans, Tiamo Wines also produces bottled, organic Barbera, Chianti, Pinot Grigio and Prosecco from Italy. All the grapes are sourced from small growers and cooperatives.

Tiamo Organic Rosé Terre di Chieti IGT 2016

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from organically farmed, hillside vineyards with chalky soils in the coastal region of Abruzzo, in and around the village of Chieti, central Italy.

Tasting Notes: Pink with coral highlights in colour, with aromas of candied cherry, strawberry and wildflowers. Fresh cherry and strawberry flavours are accented by a streak of light minerality. Citrus zest lingers on the crisp, dry finish. Refreshing, easy drinking perfect with all summer activities.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Picnics, BBQ, boating, the perfect all-purpose wine, great as an aperitif or with seafood, pasta and cheese.

100% Montepulciano
Terre di Chieti IGT
12% Alcohol
$19.99 for a 4 pack [SRP]

Tiamo Organic White Terre Siciliane IGT 2016

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from organically farmed, hillside vineyards with limestone and sandy soils in Sicily.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of grapefruit, honeysuckle and fresh summer herbs. Light apricot and pear flavours are given tiny drop of honey and complimented by grapefruit and citrus zest on the zippy finish. A friendly, sunny sip.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Perfect with sunsets, sitting on docks, ball games and as an aperitif or with seafood, pasta or cheese.

100% Grillo
Terre Siciliane IGT
12% Alcohol
$19.99 for a 4 pack [SRP]

Sample submitted for review purpose.

A Glass of Chianti Colli Senesi with Daniele Rosti of Campochiarenti

I was introduced to Daniele Rosti and his expressive wines by John Fodera via the wonderful world of Twitter. When John saw my tweets from the Chianti Lovers event in Florence, he advised that I go to the Campochiarenti table and meet his good friend, winemaker Daniele Rosti. Elegent and refined, just like his wines, it was a delight to speak with Daniele about his family estate. For all of those interested in the day-to-day trials and rewards of cultivating grapes, his Twitter account, @campochiarenti is a must follow.

The knowledgable and friendly Daniele Rosti of Campochiarenti.

Estate: Located in the Chianti Colli Senesi region in the Tuscan hills, the Campochiarenti estate traces its history back to the end of the 10th century when the church of Saint Nicholas along with its monastery was built. About a thousand years the later, the Rosti family purchased the 50 hectare [123 acre] estate and revitalized the vineyards and buildings. Today 14 hectares [34 acres] of the estate are organically farmed vineyards, with vines between 10 and 40 years in age. Chianti Colli Senesi and Vernaccia di San Gimignano are the main wines produced by the estate, so it follows that Sangiovese and Vernaccia di San Gimignano are the main grapes grown. However, there are quite a range of other varietals cultivated, such as Ancellotta, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malvasia Nera, Merlot, Malvasia, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero and Pinot Grigio, which allows Daniele to create terroir driven wines outside of the typical framework of the region.

Philosophy: “Quality grows in the vineyard.”

Winemaking: The Chianti Colli Senesi wines are a blend of 85% Sangiovese along with a blend of 15% of grapes that are a “typical variety of Tuscany” [Caniolo Collina, Colorino, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Mammolo, Foglia Tonda]. Traditional fermentation in concrete tanks with long maceration on the skins, aged 9 months in large oak barrels in addition to a minimum of 4 months in the bottle.

Campochiarenti Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG 2015
Although young, this already has a complex, espressive character. Silky layers of red fruit, earth and anise, culminating in the distinctive salt and pepper spice, dry finish. Complex yet so versatile, this can pair with just about every dish.
14% Alcohol
€12.50 [From the Campochiarenti website, not currently available in the US.]

Campochiarenti Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG 2011
Genteel and refined, with cherry, blackberry, plum, tobacco and a hint of floral. The distinctive salty spice of the estate’s terroir lingers between each sip. Soft tannins provide the backbone, whilst it is a powerful wine, it is elegant. At 6 years old, the colour is still ruby red and the fruit level is very high, Daniele says that this has yet to reach its peak, and will continue drinking well 5-10 years more.
14% Alcohol
€16.30 [From the Campochiarenti website, not currently available in the US.]

Media event sponsored by Consorzio del Chianti.

Walla Walla Meets Wairau: The Expressive Single Vineyard Wines of Hillersden

Hillersden is located in the Upper Wairau Valley in Marlborough, New Zealand. The estate takes its name from the now long forgotten settler’s town of Hillersden, which was one of the country’s largest sheep stations. Owned today by the Forlong family, the winery is known for being the first family owned, single estate, wine label in the Upper Wairau Valley. Passionately committed to sustainability, solar energy, irrigation technologies, innovation in frost management and repurposing vineyard waste for productivity are just a few of the many methods and approaches they utilize in creating a fully sustainable vineyard. The entire family is dedicated to the honoring the rich history of the land and “creating a new legacy and home for the modern wine lover”. The 3 sons now each have a role in managing the estate, from creating the label art to marketing and vineyard and farm guidance.

I had the pleasure of a guided tasting with their passionate and friendly winemaker, Adam Kubrock. Adam began his wine journey crafting single vineyard Syrah and red wines in Walla Walla, Washington State. Enamored with the cool climate winegrowing in Marlborough, he spent the past 6 years at Indevin, New Zealand Wineries and Mahi “learning the heart and soul of Marlborough wine”.

Winemaker Adam Kubrock.

Hillersden Single Vineyard Legacy Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015

Winemaking: Fermented in stainless steel, aged on light lees.

Tasting Notes: Light on its feet with sweet apple, peach and honeysuckle flavours balanced by bright acidity and an herbaceous streak. Fun, perky fizz carries thru to the clean mineral finish. Refreshing and light, a fun change of pace from Prosecco or Cava.
13% Alcohol
$18 [average price]

Hillersden Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley Marlborough 2016

Winemaking: Fermented in stainless steel, aged on fine lees to give the wine a refined texture to compliment the exuberant flavours. The wine was blended from 4 different vineyard parcels each contributing their own character.

Tasting Notes: Radiating with aromas of lemon, yellow apple, lime and grass. Apple, apricot, lemon and herbs are given a quick shake of white pepper, accenting the crisp, refreshing finish. A gorgeous balance of intense fruit and savoury elements.
13% Alcohol
$15 [average price]

Hillersden Single Vineyard Riesling Wairau Valley Marlborough 2015

Winemaking: Sheep chew the leaves to open the grapes up to the sun, grapes were picked young as they were not looking for the bell pepper flavours. Fermented in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Subtle petrol notes are ensconced with bright citrus, apple and honeysuckle flavours. The zippy, flinty mineral driven finish completes the refreshing character. Light, lively and changeable, it will disappear from your glass rather swiftly.
12% Alcohol
$15 [average price]

Hillersden Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Wairau Valley Marlborough 2016

Winemaking: Fermented in stainless steel, aged on light lees to build a refined texture and full palate.

Tasting Notes: Juicy and fresh, with vivid apple, pear and nectarine flavours. Cinnamon and ginger dusted pear linger tantalizingly between each summery sip.
13.5% Alcohol
$15[average price]

Hillersden Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from high elevation terraced vineyards, wild fermented and aged just shy of 10 months in 25% new oak. Only 300 cases produced.

Tasting Notes: Light and elegant, with layers of blackberry, plum, cherry and raspberry spread across a floral core, accompanied by bright acidity and silky tannins. Traces of earth and baking spice linger on the fruit and floral finish.
13.5% Alcohol
$21 [average price]

 

 

Media event hosted by New Zealand Wine.