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

Bortolomiol ‘Prior’ Brut Millesimato Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore 2015 DOCG

bortolomiolprior

Estate: Documents dating back to 1760 record Bartolomeo Bortolomiol growing grapes in the hills of Valdobbiadene. He passed his love of the land and passion for viticulture to his son, Giuliano Bortolomiol, who founded the Bortolomiol estate in the 1940’s. [For more information on Giuliano’s groundbreaking work in the region, please click here.] Today it is Giuliano’s 4 daughters [Maria Elena, Elvira, Luisa and Giuliana] who are following in their father and grandfather’s footsteps, and also establishing their own winemaking identity.

With a proudly female perspective, they have a focus of preserving the earth, or “territorial awareness”. In addition to using organic and sustainable practices in both the vineyard and the cellar, they are at the forefront of green initiatives in the area. They have partnered with Indaco2, a spin-off company of the University of Siena that specializes in “monitoring production chains through environmental sustainability indicators”. With the preservation of 3 hectares of woods, they can fully compensate the CO2 emissions generated through the production of 2 of their wines. Ultimately, the goal is for the entire winery to be completely sustainable with a zero carbon neutral footprint. Additionally, they support international humanitarian projects, such as the Benin project in Africa, a program which provide women with the tools to become entrepreneurs.

‘Prior’ received its name as being the first Prosecco crafted in the Brut style, thanks to the pioneering Giuliano Bortolomiol.

Philosophy: “A commitment that we undertake every day with a view to leaving the territory cleaner and greener for future generations.”

Tasting Notes: Pale lemon in colour with aromas of apple, orange blossom and lightly buttered toast. Delicate apple and pear with a squeeze of citrus swell in the dry, light, fizzy body. Good acidity compliments fresh buttery bread notes that lingers between each sip. Well balanced, fresh and lively, it’s easy to see why this consistently is an award-winning sparkler recognized for its pure expression and superb value.

100% Glera
Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut DOCG
Italy
Produced by Bortolomiol SPA
$14 [average price]
12% Alcohol
Enjoy now

 

Sample submitted for review purpose.

La Farra ‘Rive di Farra di Soligo Millesimato’ Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG

Estate: The La Farra estate was established in 1997 by brothers Innocente and Guido Nardi, following in the footsteps of their family’s long winemaking history. Located in in Farra di Soligo, in the heart of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG, the 20 hectares of vineyards also stretch into the municipalities of Pieve di Soligo, Follina and San Pietro di Feletto. [The Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG zone has long been celebrated for the quality of its grapes and its steep, hillside vineyards. For more details about this acclaimed region, click here.]

Winemaking: Hand harvested and crafted from a “Cru” of grapes from vineyards with “limey soils” in the high hills of Farra di Soligo. Charmat method [or tank fermentation].

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with delicate aromas of apple, honey and delicate white flowers. Yellow apple, apricot and a touch of honey fuses with an abundance of dense fine bubbles. The distinctive, vivid almond on the dry finish is the star. Fantastic on its own, or with light dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Excellent aperitif, also an ideal end to the meal [especially with fruit pastries].

100% Glera
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Italy
Bottled by Azienda Agricola La Farra
11% Alcohol
$17 [average price]
Enjoy now

 

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Brut & Extra Dry: Exploring the Styles of Prosecco

There are many different styles of Prosecco, all within a budget friendly price point. From spumante [sparkling] to still, from brut to dry, it’s an incredibly versatile wine. It’s interesting to explore the subtle [and not so subtle] differences between Brut [up to 12g of residual sugar per litre] and Extra Dry [12-17g of residual sugar per litre]. Below are fantastic examples of the two.

Le Colture ‘Fagher’ Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG NV

Estate: The Le Colture family has a winemaking history in Valdobbiadene that extends back over 500 years, to the 1500’s. The estate has a total of 40 hectares of vineyards that are spread across 16 farm properties in the Valdobbiadene, Conegliano and Montello areas. This allows for “the creation of wines with ultra-distinctive personalities that reflect the specific characteristics innate in the soils and weather conditions of very uncommon terroirs”.

Philosophy: “From generation to generation, the harmony of a solid, efficient team.”

Winemaking: Charmat method at a controlled temperature.

Tasting Notes: Super pale gold in colour with delicate aromas of lemon zest, brioche and crushed rock minerals. Clean minerals, lemon and almond glide atop fine, dense bubbles which carry thru the finish. A wisp of fresh bread and citrus zest elongate the nutty, bone dry finish. Elegant and clean with a savory edge, lovely on its own or with light dishes.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Intended to be drunk throughout the entire meal, pairs well with vegetable antipasti, seafood pasta dishes.

100% Glera
Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Italy
Produced by Azienda Agricola Le Colture
11.5% Alcohol
$15 [average price]
Enjoy now

Frassinelli ‘Rive di Manzana Millesimato’ Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG 2015

Estate: Located in Mareno di Piave, between the hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene and the Piave river, the Frassinelli family has been making wine since since 1966. The estate’s 13 hectares of vineyards stretch across 3 appellations; Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG, Venezia DOC, Prosecco DOC.

Philosophy: “Our responsibility is to respect the territory. Our passion is to understand it.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from the Rive di Manzana “Cru”, located in the heart of Prosecco.

Tasting Notes: Light gold in colour with aromas of apple, lemon, wildflowers, honey and a touch of minerality. Tasting similar to the aromas with apple and lemon drizzled in honey gliding over light, meandering bubbles. Hints of baked apple and brioche compliment the dry, crisp finish. Sunshine in a glass!

100% Glera
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Italy
Produced by Azienda Agricola Frassinelli
11.5% Alcohol
$14 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2018

 

Samples submitted for review purpose.

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