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Paltrinieri 2020 'Piria' Lambrusco di Sorbara Brut, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Located in the northern central region of Italy, Emilia-Romagna is home to some of Italy’s most beloved exports: ravioli, Parmigiana Reggiano, Balsamic vinegar, Ferrari…. So it’s no surprise it also produces one of Italy’s most beloved and food-friendly wines: Lambrusco! 

  • Winemaker: Alberto Paltrinieri
  • Variety: 70% Sorbara, 30% Salamino
  • Farming: Sustainable
  • Terroir: located in the area called "Cristo" di Sorbara, 15 hectares. Sorbara is a narrow stripe of land between the two rivers flowing through the Modena area: Secchia and Panaro. This is the reason why Sorbara has the most suitable kind of soil for the production of this grape variety. Loose, fresh and silty soils define the vineyards. 
  • Vinification: Free-run juice, Charmat method
  • Tasting Notes: Aromas of fresh flowers and crushed underripe berries, this wine is lively and fresh. Aromas of violets, rhubarb, and hints of lingonberry. 

From our June 2022 Bottle Club Notes:

Paltrinieri  | Piria Lambrusco di Sorbara Brut  | Emilia-Romagna, Italy | 2020

    Lambrusco is one of those beguiling, frequently underestimated wines– I always know it’ll be yummy,  but I always forget that it can also be impressive. That presumption might be rooted in its humble name; the word Lambrusco means ‘wild grape’ in Italian. It’s a name that precedes over a dozen different grape varieties domesticated from wild vines in Emilia-Romagna and Piemonte over the centuries. So in a way, evolution, combined with sheer enjoyability, has made this wine easy to overlook. But when we tasted Paltrinieri’s ‘Piria’ last month, it firmly reminded me just how impressive Lambrusco can be. 

    It’s time for a quick refresher lesson on Lambrusco. Lambrusco is made from many different Lambrusco grapes but is broken down into two denominations: the paler, lighter style made dominantly from the Lambrusco di Sorbara; and the darker, fuller-bodied version made from the Lambrusco di Grasparossa grape. Outside of these two main Lambrusco varieties, dozens more exist and are sometimes used to perfect blends around the region. 

    This month’s club highlights Paltrinieri, a fourth-generation Lambrusco house operated by husband and wife team Alberto & Barbara Paltrinieri.  Located just off the A1 autostrada outside of Modena, the family has been regarded by locals as a benchmark of Lambruschi since 1926. For most of their existence, they have focused on mono-variety bottlings, but this Piria bottling departs from that tradition. Piria comes from 70% Lambrusco di Sorbara with a touch of Lambrusco di Salamino, which provides some structure and depth. The blend produces a light, frothy, acid-drenched style that hums with wild strawberry, rhubarb, floral tamarind, and a healthy dash of minerality. On the palate, it begs for fat to tango with–– fried gnocchi, barbecued pork or stuffed shells would all be excellent partners!    — Simi Grewal

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