Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Emilia's sparkling reds and an orange wine...

The following is our current wine club offering for May/June. If you're interested in getting these kinds of wines on a regular basis, join the club.

We first discovered delicious sparkling reds served chilled while backpacking through Italy. We didn’t have a lot of money then (some things never change) so we mostly picnicked along the way. Sparkling reds are a natural fit with cured meats & Parmigiano but are also at home around the barbecue. So here are three sparkling reds, two from Colli Piacentini ("Hills of Piacenza"), which is the western edge of Emilia-Romagna, a Lambrusco from the province of Parma--and for good measure a stunning orange wine from Colli Piacentini! 

Croci Gutturnio Vino Frizzante 2010 
This traditional naturally sparkling red wine from Colli Piacentini is typical of the area and is composed of 60% Barbera and 40% Bonarda. The soil here is clayey and sandy. This vino frizzante has good structure, is lightly bubbly, with that trademark good acidity that refreshes and goes hand in hand with the local food. This pairs particularly well with a fritto misto. 

Cantine Ceci Lambrusco “La Luna” NV 
Deeply purple in color, Ceci “La Luna” is a fresh, earthy Lambrusco, with notes of dark berries from the province of Parma. Enjoy it with a big bowl of pasta Bolognese. 

Elena Panteleoni runs La Stoppa with Guilio Armani. They’ve worked their heavy silty clay soils organically since the early 90s and have been certified organic since 2008. A minimal intervention approach is taken in the cellar. The wines ferment naturally with their native yeasts. Nothing is added or subtracted from the juice. Sulfur is never added during vinification and only in small doses at bottling. 

La Stoppa Trebbiolo 2010 
A young sparkling red wine, made up of 60% Barbera and 40% Bonarda. It’s La Stoppa’s take on the typical style of the red sparkling wines of the Colli Piacentini. It’s well balanced with a pleasant, bracing acidity. 

La Stoppa Ageno 2008 
The name is a tribute to the founder of La Stoppa, Gian-Marco Ageno, who first believed in the great potential of the area. This may be our favorite orange wine yet. What is an orange wine? It’s a white wine left to sit and ferment on its skins like a red wine, which gives it a depth and color different from any other white wine. The grapes are: Malvasia di Candia Aromatic 60%, Trebbiano 40% and a splash of Ortrugo. The thick-skinned Malvasia brings intense floral aromas and tannins and a suppleness; the Trebbiano and Ortrugo acidity and nerve. It was first made in 2002 with maceration on the skins for 30 days using only indigenous yeasts and without the addition of sulfur. It’s aged for one year in stainless steel and used barrique and then for an additional two years in the bottle. It is not filtered. 

Elena gave a lot of thought about what would be the best way to make wine in her region. “We were just thinking and trying to understand the potential of our area,” she said. “The farmers who make wines for themselves? They make no difference between red and white grapes. They macerate for maybe 10 days. But this is traditional, typical. It’s not modern winemaking.” Serve it with a grand bollito misto.

Click here to order some.

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