Price Range : $15 - 17
Region: Emilia-Romagna, Italy Ready to Drink: Immediately upon release
Nothing sets the mood like a great Lambrusco.
Lambrusco is northern Italy’s version of a sparkling pink rosé, and when it’s good—it’s so so good. Good Lambrusco will lift up your mood and refresh your entire being better than a blast of pink color light therapy. At around 16 bucks, the 2016 CLETO CHIARLI Vecchia Modena Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco DOC is cheap therapy with high-end results.
The wine smells like a bouquet of fresh-cut spring flowers. Its color is a luminous coral red and its bubbles lush and soft on the tongue. Texture is precise, focused and dry (the “Secco” in the wine’s name indicates a dry style), creating something that’s scintillating and bright on the palate. Then, be prepared for the polished and delightfully refreshing flavors of red cherry, young strawberry and hibiscus.
Great Lambruscos like this one are a palate cleanser—the bubbles and mouthwatering acidity preparing you mentally and emotionally for a great degustation ahead. What can you pair this wine with? Such a myriad of appetizers: charcuterie, soft cheeses like burrata bufala, flatbreads, artichoke dip, salads and veggie plates to name more than a few.
Surely, the Vecchia Modena Lambrusco is a classic, even if you’ve never heard of it before. It’s an underground classic, like Yo La Tengo’s album I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One or The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs (haven’t heard of these either?—add these masterpieces immediately to your streaming app playlist!). Romance, wit and charm with an element of playfulness and artsy eclecticism—daring you not to love it and break out with irrepressible joy. –J.M.
Our Review from 8/29/2014:
Wow. What a find. The CLETO CHIARLI Vecchia Modena Lambrusco ain’t your old school cheapshit skank Lambrusco. This coral red, bubbly and sharply mineral grapejuice is from the new school—so vibrant on the nose, so provocative and effervescent on the tongue with its red berry, flint, and woodsy accents . . . polished, sleek, scintillating Italian charm and Ermenegildo Zegna style. All that character for 16 bucks American? Euro deflation has its benefits. Perfect for that plate of prosciutto, salumi and soppressata. Hard to find, but you must. –J.M. 92 pts
Find this wine at a store near you, or purchase online: