Why Be Curious? Sorbara’s Lambrusco is different from other Lambrusco DOCs, starting with its pale color of crushed cranberries. The sluicing acidity and less evidently fruity flavors suggest something savory, elegant, and even serious – which it is. ‘Piria’ is the name of the tool shown on the label to keep the wine from spilling during racking. (Alas, the lost art of racking in today’s pump-over age!) So serious, yes, but also a great picnic or barbecue wine that drains quickly. Caveat Bibitor!
Produttore / Producer: Paltrinieri is a family winery three generations and running. Alberto is in the vineyard and cellar, his wife Barbera is the factotum (and always brings us warm gnocchi fritti when we visit). The winery is near Modena, right off of the A1 autostrada, Italy’s main vertical thoroughfare. It’s a convivial (and ancient) waypoint for a pick-me-up when you’re a bit tired from traveling.
Vigna / Vineyard: ‘Il Cristo’ is the Paltrinieri’s main vineyard. It got its name from a neighboring trattoria and well-known waystation just north of Modena, situated between the two local rivers Secchia and Panaro. The locale and trattoria were established before the town and appellation of Sorbara.
Cantina / Cellar: Maceration on the skins for three days, alcoholic fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless tanks. Secondary fermentation for about 60 days in temperature-controlled and pressurized stainless steel tanks. All native yeasts.
Il Vino / The Wine: This is one of those wines that is not about fruit. There’s cutting acidity, tangy red fruits, and a strong dash of minerality.
A Tavola… / At the Table… By itself for those who aren’t shy about bracing wines, or with a plate of salumi (preferably including cotechino), or tortellini in brodo. It also makes a great barbecue wine, from the moment you light the grill through the last sausage or chicken thigh.
Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara ‘Piria’
Vigna / Vineyard
Denominazione / Appellation: Lambrusco di Sorbara.
Nome / Name: Via del Cristo and Via Verdeta.
Ettari / Hectares: 15 hectares total for the winery.
Quota / Altitude: 25 m / 80 ft.
Suoli / Type of soils: Alluvial soil of mostly chalk and sand.
Vitigni / Varieties: 70% Lambrusco di Sorbara, 30% Lambrusco Salamino.
Allevamento / Trellis system: Cordon (cordona semplice and cordone speronato).
Data di vendemmia / Harvest date: Middle of September.
Metodo di vendemmia / Harvest technique: Hand harvested.
Metodo agricolo / Agricultural technique: Lotta integrata (sustainable).
Resa / Yield: 140 hectoliters / hectare.
Cantina / Cellar
Fermentazione alcolica / Alcoholic fermentation: In stainless steel tanks with native yeasts, with maceration on the skins for three days.
Fermentazione malolattica / Malolatic fermentation: No.
Rifermentazione / Secondary fermentation: In temperature-controlled and pressurized stainless steel tanks (Metodo Martinotti / Charmat Method) for about two months, with native yeasts.
Zolfo / Sulphur: 77 mg/L.
Produzione annua / Annual production: 15,000 bottles (1,250 cases).
Gradazione alcolica / Alcoholic %: 11.0-11.5%
Tappo e bottiglia / Closure and bottle: Sparkling wine cork and cage, 750 ml Burgundy-shaped sparkling wine bottle.