Barbolini is a producer of irresistibly delicious Lambrusco, one with whom we have flirted with in the past. We were turned onto them by our friend, San Franciscan Oliver McCrum (who also works with Sorelle Bronca, one of our Prosecco producers in the Veneto). His success further stymied us to bring this dry, frothy, joyously dark and plummy Lambrusco to the eastern seaboard.
The Barbolini family dates back to 1889, and hails from Casinalbo in Emilia-Romagna—a beautiful area at the doorstep of Modena, which is located just a few kilometers away. The Barbolini farmhouse sits in the center of this village; it was built and rebuilt in the 18th and 19th centuries, and houses a vinegar loft where the family has created and aged balsamic vinegars for generations. Nearby is the Barbolini winery which has been recently renovated to handle all stages of modern winemaking, from harvest to final bottling.
The family owns vineyard in Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC located in the south, and in the Sorbara DOC in the north. They grow Trebbiano, Malvasia and Pignoletto dell’Emilia—a lively, crisp grape indigenous to this region. The grapes are cultivated with techniques aimed at keeping yields low.
The DOC of Grasparossa di Castelvetro, the smallest wine producing region south of Modena, requires that all wines be composed of at least 85% Lambrusco Grasparossa. This clone typically produces dry, full-bodied and darkly colored wines. Lambrusco Grasparossa is also usually the most tannic of Lambruscos. Consequently, this wine is very food-friendly, perfect with salumi or pizza.
• The Lancillotto Lambrusco Grasparossa from Barbolini is 100% Grasparossa di Castelvetro, the smallest of the Lambrusco zones, located a few kilometers south of Modena.
• The vine is distinguished by a special characteristic: with the arrival of autumn, not only the leaves turn red, but also the stalk and pedicels (graspa rossa = red stalk)
• Vineyards are at 660 meters altitude
• Vinification: a short skin maceration and partial alcoholic fermentation at controlled temperature with selected natural yeasts