Tue 30 Sep 2008
The idea of a dry sparking red wine in foreign to most Americans, but the concept is a tradition in Italy’s agriculturally-important Emilia-Romagna region, where dry sparkling Lambrusco pairs well with the rich hearty cuisine. There’s plenty of indifferent or insipid Lambrusco around, but the Albinea Canali Ottocentero Lambrusco dell’Emilia is a superior version. This is a blended wine, made from 50% lambrusco salamino grapes, 40 percent lambrusco grasparossa and 10 percent lancellotta. The effervescence is not like Champagne; this is a semi-sparkling wine, with a gentle presence of bubbles rather than a fount. The color is deep purple; the forthright grapey bouquet offers notes of black currant and black raspberry. In the mouth, this is roasted and fleshy, almost pure blackberry except for a strain of wild mulberry. The wine is spicy and exotic, with a lip-smacking texture and appetite-whetting acid. The alcohol is a low 11.5 percent. I would like this with noodles and a rabbit ragu or a lasagna with wild mushrooms. Very Good+. About $15.
VB Imports, Old Brookville, N.Y.