Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara “Leclisse” 2018
Alberto Paltrinieri is the third generation to make Lambrusco di Sorbara in his family winery in Sorbara. They have been producing wine since 1926 and he took over running the property in 1998. He and his wife Barbara run the winery and were some of the first producers to make monovarietal Lambrusco di Sorbara.
Located in the historic area of Cristo di Sorbara, the winery with its 42 acres of vineyards sits on a thin extension of land between the Secchia and Panora Rivers (the two main rivers in the province of Modena in Northern Italy.) This site with its fertile silt and sandy soil provides just the type of growing environment that Lambrusco di Sorbara prefers. There is some thought that Lambrusco dates to times before BC. In fact, on her Wine Folly website Madeline Puckette opines that it is mentioned in 160 BC by Cato in his De Agricultura. So that’s really old. More recently, scientists have identified ten varieties of Lambrusco, with four varieties considered as most important.
Lambrusco di Sorbara – From the village of Sorbara located on the sandy plains north of Modena, this produces the lightest, most delicate and most highly acidic Lambrusco. It is generally light pink rosé in color with aromas and flavors of cherries, oranges, watermelon and violets. As I mentioned above, Sorbara has difficulty flowering and needs another grape to help pollinate it—generally Salamino. The Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC requires at least 60% Sorbara and can have a maximum of 40% of another grape blended with it.
The 2018 Leclisse, another wine made from 100% Sorbara is the most awarded of the Paltrinieri wines. It is a selection of grapes from a single vineyard. The grape must for the wine is purified to produce a purer version of Lambrusco. For this cuvée Alberto uses only free run juice. He uses the Charmat or tank method for the second fermentation of this dry wine so unlike the Radice, there is no yeast sediment in the bottle. The label of this bottle is of a painting that Alberto gave to Barbara of a Solar eclipse and he likes the imagery because he thinks the process of purifying the must is rare—like a solar eclipse. It is very pale pink colored, tart and light with flavors of strawberries, raspberries and a hint of vanilla. There is a vinous quality to the wine that is very attractive. Again, you can’t go wrong pairing this with a charcuterie plate, although the vinous qualities would also make it pair very well with Revel’s Roast Chicken with Panzanella Salad.