|The general perception of Lambrusco is a sweet, sparkling red wine that was very popular in the 1970s. Lambrusco comes in many shapes and forms. However traditional Lambrusco is not sweet but dry to off dry, and like the other great fad of the seventies and eighties – Beaujolais – I think it’s time to rediscover this great wine. Over the past couple of years Beaujolais has at last started to become fashionable again. The focus for Beaujolais has generally been on single vineyard wines made in tiny amounts from the best crus. Whilst the same thing has not yet occurred in Lambrusco, the Medici Ermete Concerto is a great example of what Lambrusco can be like.
The appellation for Lambrusco is situated in the Northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, which is home to good food and great motors. This is the region responsible for some of the highest quality Italian products: Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan), Parma ham, Mortadella, a rafter of different salamis, as well as being famous for their eggs and pasta dishes including lasagne and bolognaise. As for their motor industry it includes the likes of: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati.
Lambrusco is not only the name of the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) but it is also the name of a grape variety from which the wine can be made. One of the intriguing things about the Lambrusco grape is that there is a large range of different Lambrusco varieties such as: Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambrusco Sorbara, Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco Maestri and Lambrusco Montericco to name a few.
The Concerto Lambrusco is made by Medici Ermete, which was founded in the nineteenth century by Remigio Medici. It was his son, Ermete, who expanded the business and created the estate’s reputation for quality. The company now owns around sixty hectares of land throughout the region of Emilia-Romagna and is run by the fourth generation of the Medici family.
The Concerto Lambrusco is a single vineyard wine from within the commune of Montecchio Emilia (in the province of Reggio Emilia), it is made with rigorous grape selection and low yields (around a quarter less than the permitted yield for the region). Not only is it a single vineyard wine but it is also made with a single variety: 100% Lambrusco Salamino.
Once the grapes have been sorted and crushed, the juice and pomace are macerated for 5 to 6 days at a low temperature (to help extract the colour from the skins), after which it undergoes fermentation for around 20 days. The wine is then moved to pressurised tanks where it undergoes secondary fermentation (to give it the bubbles). The wine is then bottled with 10 grams of sugar per litre, which means that although it is not completely dry it can legally be described as a Brut (dry) Sparkling wine and thankfully the relatively high acidity (7.5 grams Total Acidity per litre) helps make this wine only slightly off dry.
|The Concerto Lambrusco has a light pleasant froth in the glass and a bright purple colour. The nose is very fruity with a focus on aromas of red cherries and raspberries. The palate is soft and round with a very attractive mousse and refreshing acidity. The fresh fruit notes are complimented by slight herbal notes, the tannins are soft but present, and the finish is long and drying. This is the perfect wine for meaty dishes, especially a full English breakfast. I found the combination of the acidity and tannins cut through the fat, and the sweetness of the fruit working with the porky sweetness of the bacon and sausages is a real treat. It also helps that at 11% you won’t be knocked out for the rest of the day, as long as you aren’t planning on driving anywhere afterwards, of course!