The Wine Wire: Lambrusco, It’s Not Your MeeMaw’s Riunite Anymore

It will probably dismay Craig to no end that I have just spent the last 45 minutes watching vintage Riunite commercials on Youtube, but it seemed necessary in the writing of this post. The Riunite phenomenon of the 1960s and 1970s is an object lesson in how industrial/commercial pursuits can ruin the artisan spirit of an entire wine region.

Good Lambrusco is neither a trifle to be sold cheaply in in magnum nor to dilute with 50 large ice cubes in a glass. It is a serious red wine done in a frizzante  (slightly sparkling style) from four allowed sub-zones: Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce, Lambrusco di Sorbara, or Modena. Traditionally, Lambrusco finished fermentation in the bottle, and always dry, but large  production houses like Riunite introduced method charm ant to the region and pushed for sweeter wines.

Luciano Saetti returns to the old ways, finishing fermentation in the bottle and bone dry. There are no additions of sulfur. A perfect match for salumi and parmesan cheese. Although fizzy, the wine is in possession of formidable tannins and a dense, purple/ruby hue. Serve chilled, but skip the ice!

2011 Vigneto Saetti Rosso Viola IGP Salamino di Santa Croce, Emilia-Romagna, Italy $19.99/ Bottle

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