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2017 Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Frizzante Secco

Fattoria Moretto

2017 Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Frizzante Secco Fattoria Moretto - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

I once spent a warm evening sitting on the cobblestones of Bologna’s Piazza Verdi, in a circle of friends, surrounded by clusters of the city’s electric youth. Most were lost in animated, intense, and jovial conversations. Some had stood up and started to dance to a spontaneous, unpolished brass-and-percussion ensemble. My friends and I talked and observed, nursing our Negronis from the nearby bar.
     I didn’t know about Lambrusco back then, and even if I had, I might have only heard about Lambrusco of the Dark Ages—the ’70s and ’80s—when it was probably not too far off from sparkling red Welch’s. If I had known about Emilia-Romagna’s dry, serious, and seriously fun Lambrusco, though, I would have absolutely chosen that to imbibe on a warm, festive, Bolognese night.
     Twenty or so miles west of Bologna, Fattoria Moretto grows the Lambrusco Grasparossa grape to make one of the most cheerful, warm-weather-friendly wines you’ll experience. The “Grasparossa” part is important—among the top class of the Lambrusco varieties, it is the only one that grows primarily on the hillsides of Emilia-Romagna as opposed to the flatlands.

If you are skeptical that you could love a fizzy, frothy red wine, consider:

1) This wine is completely dry. It is earthy, with notes of dark berries, and bears a gentle tannin.
2) It’s sparkling, so keep it in the fridge and you’ll find that few beverages offer more fun and refreshment.
3) You owe it to Emilia-Romagna to give this a try. The region which gave us ragù (Bolognese), mortadella, tortellini, Parmigiano Reggiano, Balsamic vinegar, and legendary cured prosciutto has earned our blind faith at this point—and this wine goes supremely well with them all (and everything else). Has Italy’s culinary capital let you down yet? With Fattoria Moretto’s Lambrusco, it’s not about to start.
     Whether you’re in Bologna, Berkeley, or somewhere in between, you’ll be happier on a warm summer afternoon or night with Moretto’s Lambrusco Grasparossa in your glass.

Tom Wolf

Vintage: N.V.
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Lambrusco Grasparossa
Appellation: Emilia-Romagna
Country: Italy
Region: Emilia-Romagna
Producer: Fattoria Moretto
Winemaker: Altariva Family
Vineyard: 19-39 years
Soil: Clay and silt
Aging: Aged in stainless steel
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 11%

More from this Producer or Region

About Emilia-Romagna

Primarily dominated by the expansive plains of the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna—a diagonal band stretching from Piacenza in the north all the way to Rimini in the southeast—also features a long span of Apennine Mountains and foothills, at the base of which lie its major cities such as Parma, Modena, and Bologna along the historic Via Emilia. While the flatlands are home to some viticulture, the Apennines provide elevation and ventilation in contrast with the hot, humid, stagnant valley below, in addition to poor, well-draining soils favorable to the production of more serious wines.

Given the rich local cuisine that relies heavily on lard, cheese, and fatty meats like pork, Emilia-Romagna is first and foremost a land of fizzy wines. These light frizzanti have the acidity to cut through fat along with a palate-cleansing sparkle. Most important is the indigenous red Lambrusco, a family of grapes whose wines brilliantly complement flavorful dishes such as tagliatelle al ragù, tortellini al brodo, or simple antipasti of local meats and cheeses like prosciutto di Parma, mortadella, and parmigiano reggiano (if you’re lucky, drizzled with traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena).

While Lambrusco’s image suffered in the past because of mass-produced sweet versions, small producers today are crafting traditional, terroir-driven dry wines that are absolutely mouth-watering. These jovial, food-friendly quaffers are right at home in the KLWM portfolio.

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A good doctor prescribed the wine of Nuits-Saint-Georges to the Sun King, Louis XIV, when he suffered an unknown maladie. When the king’s health was restored the tasty remedy enjoyed a vogue at court. Lord, send me a doctor like that!

Inspiring Thirst, page 117


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