Two lovely fizzy Italian reds

radice lambrusco

Fizzy red wines. Not mainstream, I know, but I quite liked these two examples from Italy. They’re being sold by a retailer new to the UK, Tannico.

Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara Frizzante Secco 2015 DOC Radice, Italy
£14.90 Tannico.co.uk
11% alcohol
This is a family run winery located in the heart of Sorbara, Modena. They’ve been making this Lambrusco di Sorbara for three generations, from 15 hectares of vineyards on chalky and sandy soils. The grapes are destemmed, pressed and the juice settled before primary fermentation. After around 70 days the wine is bottled where refermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts for around 90 days. The resulting wine is a slightly cloudy pale pink colour. The savoury, toasty nose shows attractive cherry and citrus fruit, and there’s a bit of pear and red apple richness. Toasty and nutty on the finish, with some fizziness. The yeasty, toasty character is really appealing, with a fine spiciness. Dry and easy to drink, finishing nutty and toasty. 90/100

piccolo bonarda

Piccolo Bacco dei Quaroni Vivace 2015 Bonarda dell’Oltrepò Pavese DOC, Italy
£9.99 Tannico.co.uk
12.5% alcohol
A blend of Croatina (referred to here as Bonarda) 90%, Barbera 10%. Four chums bought a small (2.5 hectare) historical vineyard called Piccolo Bacco dei Quaroni in 2001. Here we are in the Oltrepo Pavese region in the northwest of Italy, bordering Emilia-Romagna. The vines are planted at high density and viticulture is close to organic. Second fermentation here is in pressurised tanks. Wild yeasts only. Deeply coloured and intense, this fizzy red wine is quite delicious. It’s inky and supple with black cherry and blackberry fruit, showing a hint of meaty spiciness and a sleek, ripe fruit character. Dry with some fruit sweetness, this is a lovely wine that’s delicious alone but would work with food. You can serve it chilled or at room temperature, and it’s lovely at both. Unusual, and great value for money. 90/100

3 comments to Two lovely fizzy Italian reds

  • Great notes Jamie!! :) Hopefully ’17 will see an increase in Italian red sparklers, – such interesting wines. C xx

  • Top banana. The happiest moment in my life was spent drinking Oltrepò Pavese. Sparkling reds are definitely the way forwards, such an underrated category.

    As for the first wine, I did’t understand the production method. I’m assuming the base wine is dry after 70 days. You say “the wine is bottled where refermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts”, so do they add some sugar before bottling?

  • Frederico Gomes

    I would guess MAlolatic fermentation in bottle

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