I have been living back in Modena for almost 2 years now and I see that there are only a few people here who are into natural Lambruscos. The majority still prefers the mass produced round sweeter Lambruscos made with the Charmat method.
Some of the best natural Lambrusco producers don’t even sell in Emilia but save their delicious juice for other more lucrative and sensitive markets like the US, England, Australia, or Japan.
It’s sad to see since Lambrusco up to 40 years ago was always bottle re-fermented in the spring of the following harvest year and made with its own yeasts.
The Charmat Lambruscos (not natural) made in a pressurized tank, at any time of the year with selected yeasts are in most cases very conventional. For business purposes, Charmat is very convenient. If I need 50 cs in January…..I can order them, and the producer adds a bit of concentrated must to the tank, makes it re-ferment with sugar and selected yeasts, filters them in a sterile way, and bottles it under pressure with a good amount of sulphur in many cases well over 100 parts.
There is no need to wait for spring and natural sunny warmer days that re-ferment the wine. Why would you wait when you can be in control with the Charmat method? Charmat is faster, destroys terroir and favors industrial homologation.
The taste is flat and synthetic, and once the bottle is open for 15 minutes it dies very quickly. These supermarket Lambruscos are generally cheaper and they can be less than 2 Euros a btl. God knows what’s in it.
Natural Lambruscos are full of nuances and layers of flavor and actually get better as the bottle stays open. Vivid fruit notes, Terroir, and different shades of flavors (primary and secondary) are all in that glass. The wine is still alive!! They are better with food and usually have better acidity to play around with. The last glass…..like in every great bottle of wine….is always the best. Their low level of sulphur and the lack of chemicals allow you to finish a bottle and wake up without a headache. These real Lambruscos can age well since the dead yeasts (native) present into the bottle works as antioxidant and adds complexity and longevity. These real Lambruscos are made in small quantities by stubborn individuals with care and without chemicals which is the opposite of the “fake” Lambruscos made by large cooperative who make millions of bottles in most cases.
What’s even more sad…..is that when you taste closed minded people on a good natural Lambrusco, they will tell you that they are to dry, or to acidic, or to rustic since they are so used to drinking rounder, sweeter, and fruity manipulated versions of it. These are the same people who in most cases don’t care about knowing where their food comes from and don’t believe in anything natural. These are the people who believe and feel comfortable with homologation….these are the people who shop in supermarkets. In my opinion…..it’s standardization that is bringing a country like Italy down and it’s shopping in supermarkets that is running independent shops out of business. The farmer and the artisan are key figures in our country and have to be protected first by our government and then by our consumers.
If we want to save Italy and relaunch the economy, we should start from the way we consume agricultural product and the way we purchase things. Having less taxes wouldn’t hurt.
Paying attention to details could make the difference.
In a way, drinking natural Lambrusco, not only is healthier and tastier, but it could also be the beginning of a rebirth of the Italian economy.
Natural Lambrusco could save us all!!!!
So do yourself a favor……
drop the Charmat and embrace the naturalmente Frizzante.
Scuola Di Vino currently carries a small winery called Il Folicello that makes 2 delicious Frizzante Naturali. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to try some.
IL FOLICELLO BIANCO ANCESTRALE (Montuni, Pinot Bianco, Trebbiano) $15.00 per btl
IL FOLICELLO ROSSO ANCESTRALE LAMBRUSCO (100% Grasparossa) $15 per btl
Very soon, we will also bring in the delicious frizzanti of CA’ DE NOCI. (below photo)