This new range of high quality Lambrusco is a partnership between the Soliera cooperative and Medici Ermete, one of the most influential producers in the renaissance of ‘proper’ Lambrusco. Cantina di Soliera, with 422 member growers and a 40 year tradition of Lambrusco production, is situated in the heart of the Lambrusco di Sorbara zone north of Modena and is the DOC’s largest producer. The alluvial soils here are ideal for the cultivation of the low yielding Sorbara variety, the mixture of sand and clay produces wines which balance elegance and structure and are regarded by many as the finest Lambrusco. Grapes for the Cantina di Soliera range come from 20 ha of selected ‘cru’ vineyards here and in the neighbouring Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC.
The Lambrusco family of grapes (there are many varieties, once numbered at 56) is thought to be one of the oldest in Italy and is predominantly found in Emilia-Romagna. Today the focus is on a handful of varieties, and Cantina di Soliera specialise in Lambrusco di Sorbara and Lambrusco Grasparossa, the most important of the 5 Lambrusco DOC’s in terms of quality. The former produces light, elegant, floral wines, while Grasparossa typically gives deeply coloured, weightier and more structured wines. Both make fantastic food wines – the delicate Sorbara with cold meats and seafood, the richer Grasparossa a perfect match for fatty sausages, charcuterie, tomato-based pasta dishes and cheeses.
The Lambrusco di Sorbara grapes are sourced from selected plots in the Soliera region of Modena, where the vines are planted in sandy-clay soils.
Initially a dry base wine is produced, and a sweeter wine (also produced from Lambrusco di Sorbara) is added to this at bottling. This results in a still wine of around 13-14 g/l of sugar. Then they use a 'pied de couve' (preparation of yeast) to start the second fermentation in bottle - which lasts a few weeks. The wine is ready after 3-4 months.
Appealing deep pink in colour, which may appear opaque as the wine is not disgorged after bottle fermentation. Subtle raspberry and strawberry aromas with delicate, dried rose petal notes. Textural and savoury on the palate with fine cherry and red berry fruit. Fresh, dry, sustained finish with a fine mousse.
Drink with charcuterie such as the local Culatello salami or Parma ham. For an alternative, try with fish tempura.