Cheers to Lambrusco: Toasting the Holidays with Medici Ermete

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.
8.5% Alcohol
$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.
11% Alcohol
$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.
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, 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
11.5% Alcohol
$20 [average price]

 

Samples submitted for review purpose.

 

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

Podere Giardino ‘Suoli Cataldi’ Rosé Reggiano Lambrusco DOP 2014

 

Estate: Since the end of the 19th century, the Crotti family have been farming Podere Giardino, located in a “small hamlet alongside the historic Via Emilia in the direction of Modena” in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. At that time, the estate was headed by Donnino Crotti and was primarily for raising cows to produce the famed Parmigiano Reggiano cheese of the region. In 2001 his grandchildren, Paolo, Marco and Federica Crotti took over the estate from their parents and began combining family tradition along with modern technology to produce Lambrusco on a larger scale. They are devoted to organic farming, for both vines and cows [certified since 2003] and production methods “that respects human well-being and defends environmental biodiversity, it is a model of sustainable development aimed at protecting the environment and enhancing the quality of the soil and the resources of local communities”.

Philosophy: Carrying the family’s traditions into the future, they are committed to “the respect of the natural rhythms imposed by nature and our constant effort to recover the authentic tastes and fragrances of the products of our land: these are our values, the ones that allow us to respect the certified biological method”.

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from vineyards located in the High Plains of Reggio Emilia with sandy soils called ‘Cataldi’.

Tasting Notes: Light ruby red in colour with aromas of red fruits and earth. Super fruity, with all the cherries [red, sour and black] along with fresh raspberry, pomegranate and a trace of earth. Lip smacking acidity and light fizz keep you coming back for more. Fantastic and fun on its own or with a wide variety of dishes, especially cheese based.

Enjoy at 10-12°C [50-54F°]

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Traditional foods from Emilia Romagna, such as Reggiano Parmesan cheese, fried dumplings and ham.

100% Marani [Lambrusco]
Reggiano Lambrusco DOP
Italy
Produced by Azienda Agricola Podere Giardino, Bottled by ICQRF 2019/RE
11% Alcohol
$17 [average price]
Enjoy now

Ca’ de Noci ‘Sottobosca’ Frizzante Rosso 2011

cadenoci

Not for the faint of heart, this intense, earthy gem will funkafy your evening.

Estate: Passionate to cultivate indigenous varietals that were slowly disappearing in the area, Ca’ de Noci was founded by brothers Giovanni and Alberto Masini on their family’s estate near Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy. The 5 hectares of vineyards are located on rocky limestone soil along the Crostolo River.

Winemaking: The vineyards are certified organic, and the brothers do not use chemicals in any process of winemaking, including sulphur and additives. Wines are left unfiltered and unfined.

Tasting Notes: Inky violet red in colour with pink bubbles, black cherry and blackberry flavours ride along a current of vivacious fizz, backed by barn door funky earth notes and a cleansing acidity that harmonises with the fruity, dry finish.

Blend of Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambrusco Maestri and Malbo Gentile
IGT
Estate Bottled
11% Alcohol
$16
Enjoy now
Only 4000 bottles produced

Podere Giardino ‘Suoli Cataldi’ Reggiano Lambrusco Rosso 2013

poderelambrusco

Estate: Since the end of the 19th century, the Crotti family have been farming Podere Giardino, located in a “small hamlet alongside the historic Via Emilia in the direction of Modena” in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. At that time the estate was headed by Donnino Crotti and was primarily for raising cows in order to produce the famed Parmigiano Reggiano cheese of the region. In 2001 his grandchildren, Paolo, Marco and Federica Crotti took over the estate from their parents and began combing family tradition along with modern technology to produce Lambrusco on a larger scale. They are devoted to organic viticulture and production methods “that respects human well-being and defends environmental biodiversity, it is a model of sustainable development aimed at protecting the environment and enhancing the quality of the soil and the resources of local communities”.

Philosophy: Carrying the family’s traditions into the future, they are committed to “the respect of the natural rhythms imposed by nature and our constant effort to recover the authentic tastes and fragrances of the products of our land: these are our values, the ones that allow us to respect the certified biological method”.

Winemaking: The estate has been certified organic since 2003, and GMO free since 2005 in regards to vine stock and feed for the Parmigiano Reggiano cows. Grapes for the Lambrusco Rosso are sourced from clay soil vineyards located near the city of Reggio Emilia, in the “Cataldi” estate”.

Tasting Notes: Dark red violet in colour with aromas of cherry, traces of balsamic and earthy funk. Morello cherry, blackberry and earth elements ride along a currant of smooth, low key bubbles that magnify the velvety texture. A cleansing acidity and dry mineral finish make this fantastic with a wide variety of dishes, especially rich ones. [It was spectacular with an array of Italian cheese, including Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Fosso and Provolone Mandarone]

30% Marani, 30% Salamino, 30% Oliva, 5% Ancellotta
Reggiano Lambrusco
Emilia Romagna
Italy
Produced by Azienda Agricola Podere Giardino, Bottled by ICQRF 2019/RE
11.5% Alcohol
$17 [average price]
Enjoy now