2018 Paltrinieri 'L'Eclisse' Lambrusco, Emilia Romagna, Italy (750 ml)

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When our Ferry Godmother, Debbie Zachareas and our General Manager, Sarah Knoefler were in Emilia-Romagna earlier this year last year, they discovered this outstanding Lambrusco producer. We all tasted the wines back here in San Francisco and were so smitten that we booked two of them for our Sparkling Club! Achilles Paltrinieri was a pharmaceutical chemist in the countryside of Modena who also had a taste for the vine and founded Cantina Paltrinieri in 1926. He was smart to establish his estate in the village of Sorbara because it is where the Lambrusco di Sorbara grape is grown which is regarded as the where the highest quality of the main Lambrusco varietals, ‘Lambrusco di Sorbara’ is planted across the five appellations of Emilia-Romagna. Achilles' son, Gianfranco expanded the vineyard holdings and passed the 15 hectare estate to his son, Alberto who runs things today with his wife, Barbara. With the guidance of enologists, Leonardo Conti and Attilio Pagli, Alberto produces six distinct Lambruscos of exceptional quality at relatively low production levels, especially for the region. While many may not hold Lambrusco in high esteem due to the oceans of sweet, low quality options that flooded the market in the past, Alberto Paltrinieri is part of the new renaissance of winemakers who are changing our perception of what the wine can achieve with his sharp, elegantly crafted wines. The wine is 100% Lambrusco di Sorbara, is produced in the more traditional style for Lambrusco with the Charmat Method, meaning the secondary fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks instead of in bottle. Thus, the appearance of the wine is clear, not cloudy as with the Radice, and the color of this Leclisse is a beautiful pale pink/orange hue that looks really cheerful and inviting. The nose offers aromas of dried violets, rhubarb and Rainier white/yellow cherry which follow onto the light-bodied palate to join flavors of red, pink and yellow pluot. At the end, the wine finishes on a note of blood orange peel, a good deal of tangy acidity, a dash of minerality and a lot of panache. There is enough fruit to balance the acid which makes this wine totally drinkable on its own as an aperitivo or paired with an array of salumi as is the tradition in Modena.

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