Paltrinieri Radice Lambrusco di Sorbara Frizzante 2018
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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 Radice is a pale pink rosé color. Lightly frizzante, meaning it is less bubbly than a traditional sparkling wine, it is bottle fermented with its second fermentation taking place in bottle. Alberto uses indigenous yeast to produce this 100% Sorbara cuvée and bottles and releases it with a crown cap closure. The name Radice (the word for roots in Italian) is his reference to his roots and those of the vines. The drawing on the label is a map of the winery. Aromas and flavors are lightly smoky with sweet red berry, cherry and clementine oil. It has excellent acidity and a great finish. Because the wine is not disgorged before release, there are lees (yeast sediment) in the bottom of the bottle. Alberto believes these lees provide extra longevity for the wine. Pair this with a charcuterie board with mortadella, of course, some smoked trout or a simple cheese plate.