Monday, May 27, 2024

From an artisan powerhouse comes this stunning Cleto Chiarli, Vecchia Modena Lambrusco

Cleto Chiarli, Vecchia Modena Lambrusco di Sorbara (DOC), 2022, 11% ABV

RRP €32.95. Stockists: Mitchell & Son, Pinto Wines

With millions of gallons of industrial Lambrusco flowing from Emilia Romagna, the province has somehow managed to become an artisan powerhouse. 

About 170 million bottles a year are produced and it is the dominant wine here. No shortage of quantity then and I was somehow lucky enough to get my hands on one of the quality ones, this by Cleto Chiarli. This is where the recent book VINO (very highly recommended!) comes in handy as they have a shortlist of the More Exceptional Producers of Lambrusco in Emilia-Romagna and Cleto Chiarli is one of them..

So what is Lambrusco? It is a style of dry sparkling red wine made from several clones of the red Lambrusco grape. Our Cleto Chiarli is made from

the Sorbara clone. It has its own DOC, is noted for its more elegant styles, and is close to Modena.

And it has an easy-drinking character,  known for its fruity and floral notes with a mild acidity, that’s easy to like. The wine displays a lovely deep strawberry pink colour with active fine bubbles. It displays bright aromas, both fruit (cherries, sweet apple) and floral (roses). The palate is fresh, dry, and light-bodied with hints of tart loganberry, and a delicate softness in a clean dry finish.

In a recent tweet, the producers suggest that it may be enjoyed as an aperitif, paired with charcuterie, or even enjoyed with spicy Indian or Thai dishes. “Don’t be shy: chicken wings, cold Asian noodle salads, beef barbacoa, Italian hoagies, you name it. Almost anything that shows up on your grill or in your picnic basket plays well with Lambrusco”.

As it happened, on a gorgeous sunny Friday evening in May, we enjoyed its versatility in the back garden, first with sushi from Maki in the English Market, then with a salad featuring greens from the same garden and Spiced Beef by Jack McCarthy (from On the Pig’s Back, also in the market) before finishing with some strawberries from the Roughty Foodie (also English Market). 

Italian pairing suggestions include Pasta, tortellini, boiled meat and typical cuisine from Modena, home to gourmet specialties like Prosciutto di Parma, Balsamic di Modena, and Mortadella Bologna. Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena Lambrusco Sorbara is certainly an excellent choice for those looking for a refreshing and versatile wine option and is Very Highly Recommended.

  • This post is part of a series of Italian wines produced by usually small or medium-sized organic wineries made from native grapes. Taking some “guidance” here from the recently published VINO. Mightn’t always net the hat trick but hope to score two from the three each time. I have quite a few lined up but I’m happy to consider any suggestions or help. #OrganicItaly

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