A comeback is on the cards for the much-maligned Lambrusco. High quality examples can now be found which offer excellent value and partner well with a range of food, particularly the local cuisine of Emilia-Romagna...
Lambrusco is made in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, to the south of Veneto. It tends to be frizzante (lightly sparkling) in style and can be produced using the Charmat, Traditional or Ancestrale methods.
Despite incredibly high yields and a history of industrial-scale production which has done Lambrusco’s reputation no favours, there are now a number of producers intent on changing this – much like the transformation of Chianti in the mid-1990s.
Their high quality wines tend to be made using one of the latter two methods, sometimes accompanied by long lees ageing to bring out more complexity and texture.
Decanter’s Tasting team have picked out some exciting examples to try.
Since Emilia-Romagna is renowned for its food, why not try one of these Lambruscos with a plate of prosciutto di Parma and fresh-baked bread with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip?
Lambrusco to try:
Generous concentration and explosive summer fruit cocktail notes on the nose.Very elegant on the palate with plenty of structure and a vibrant, red forest fruits finish. Incredible texture and length. Remarkable richness and luscious finish.
This single-vineyard Lambrusco shows incredible structure and intensity. Rich, complex strawberry jam notes; followed by luscious blueberries and violets on the finish. A very serious wine.
Rustic and beautifully crafted, with earthy notes and hints of beetroot on the nose, followed by dark cherries. Intense blackberries on the palate and a very long finish.
Terroir-driven wine. Fresh strawberries and raspberries. Dry with sherbert-like freshness. Perfectly balanced acidity and red forest fruit persistence. Sorbara at its best.
Delicate and aromatic red flower notes with plum undertones. Quite intense on the palate with a well-balanced freshness, bright acidity and a youthful, fruity finish.
DWWA Silver Medal: Soft concentrated rich dark fruit nose, the palate has slightly spicy floral rich cherry fruit with jammy notes, lovely acidity and length.
This high quality Lambrusco has spent 72 months on its lees. Wild strawberry and redcurrant aromas are joined on the palate by a vibrant acidity and cranberry and strawberry flavours. There is a noticeable sweetness, although it remains integrated and balanced by the acidity. The finish is quite long, with…
This is Lambrusco, but not as you know it. The very sweet, cheap stuff has been replaced here with something vibrant and crunchy. It has black cherry and plum fruit and plenty of fresh acidity. There is a nice sweetness, but at just 10g of residual sugar it helps to…
Traditional method vinification followed by six months of ageing. It has a sweet cherry-fruited nose with quite a frothy mousse on the palate. Flavours of bitter cola and red fruits are balanced by a gentle sweetness. Powerful on the finish. Drink with cold cuts of meat.
DWWA Bronze Medal: Intense black fruit aromas with mediterranean herbs, the palate has a big ripe firm structure and lovely soft cherry fruit.