Going Natural Wine Club - September 2021
Posted on September 13, 2021
Blog Post # 4 – Low Intervention Convention
Keltis Zan White and Venturini Montelocco Lambrusco
Welcome to the month of September!!!
The days are getting shorter and the evenings are getting colder. The hands of autumn are slowly taken hold. The leaves are starting to change colour, the autumn fashion is starting to appear and we are all getting our jackets ready for our morning commutes.
This is the time of year we typically see those light, refreshing summer wines slowly disappear from the shelves, and we start to welcome those more flavourful, complex styles into our inventory. This month of Going Natural is no different. We selected two of the newest wines to market that showcase some of the best styles to drink during the changing seasons.
First up is Keltis Zan White.
This is going to be a fun one. This small little production is coming from the region of Bizeljsko, Slovenia.
Now, Slovenia isn’t necessarily the first wine country that pops to mind, but it is very important for Eastern Europe. The area of Slovenia, previously Yugoslavia, has been producing wine for thousands of years, and was one of the richest viticultural areas during Roman times., we never really hear about it. Why do you ask? Well, it all has to do with the USSR. Once Yugoslavia and the other Eastern European countries fell to the communist regime, wine became stagnate. The wine was produced within communal wineries, where all the grapes from multiple vineyards were placed into the same vat to produce the same, communal wine. There was no single-vineyard production, or even single estate bottlings; just the same communal wine.
Yet, the powerhouse of Yugoslavia was producing a ridiculous amount. In the 1970s, Yugoslavia was one of the top ten wine-producing countries...IN THE WORLD. All of this wine was being supplied to the USSR, with very little reaching the outside world. (There was one production of Riesling that made its way to western Europe, but that was just a drop in the ocean of wine produced in the country). outside the communist states really knew about the wine potential of Eastern Europe. So, when the Iron Curtain fell in 1991, it was as if these small countries had to start over and get their names out there to the wine world.
Alas, these wines are here to stay. Not only do they offer unique grapes and approaches, but they also offer such value!
Bizeljsko is a small sub-region located in South-East Slovenia, which is made up of a narrow strip of land along the northern bank of the Sava River, protected by the mountains from the harsh north winds, therefore, making for some of the best winegrowing conditions in Slovenia.
The Zan White is a blend of Rumeni Plavec, Muscat, Traminec, žametna črnina, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, and Kraljevina. This field blend is only 10.5% and offers an aromatic experience. It's dry on the palate, with notes of grilled pineapple, guava, yellow melon and a squeeze of lemon. This one will go down easy, trust me. I previously enjoyed a bottle with some salt & vinegar kettle chips. The tangy character of the chips really allowed some of the hidden citrus notes to show through, so I would highly recommend this pairing.
Thank you to Garneau Block for bringing this wine to Alberta!
This is a perfect wine for autumn.
Lambrusco hails from the stunning region of Emilia Romagna, Italy. One of the wealthiest areas within Italy, Emilia Romagna is home to some of the most notoriously Italian gastronomic delights, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Mortadella, Prosciutto di Parma and traditional Balsamic Vinegar, to name a few. So, you can imagine the wine game is pretty good.
There are a plethora of regions to cover in Emilia Romagna, but for this post, we are going to focus on the Terre dei Lambruschi (Land of the Lambruscos). Located, mostly, on the fertile plains surrounding Reggio Emilia and Modena, The Lambrusco District is home to what is considered the quintessential Emilian wines. This wine style is beloved across the Italian peninsula; it’s an easy-drinking, fruity, semi-sparkling red wine that is typically inexpensive. Unfortunately, here in North America, the mass-produced Lambrusco's of years passed have ruined its reputation. But, thankfully, that style of Lambrusco has stayed in the ’80s. Nowadays, we are seeing what Lambrusco can offer.
So, what makes Lambrusco, Lambrusco?
I’m so glad you asked!
Lambrusco is a semi/sparkling wine produced within Northern Italy, specifically in Emilia Romagna and Lombardy. It’s a style of wine native to the Parma hills in Emilia Romagna, where it easily pairs with the gastronomic delights of the region. The wines are typically labelled as Lambrusco Emilia IGP or more specifically, one of the five Lambrusco DOCs; (Lambrusco Reggiano DOC, Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC, Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC, Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce DOC, Lambrusco Mantovano DOC).
There are three main grapes for Lambrusco production:
Lambrusco di Sorbara: lightest in colour, more floral characteristics.
Lambrusco Salamino: The most notable style, fruity, juicy, easy-drinking. Grapes bunches look like salami, aiding to the name Salamino.
Lambrusco Grasparossa: More tannic, higher alcohol percentage, more serious style.
Each one of these grapes, including Lambrusco Maestri and Lambrusco Marani, is of the utmost importance in the Terre dei Lambruschi. But Lambrusco Salamino is the one you’ll be enjoying in this month's release.
Venturini Baldini is located on an old, 16th estate in the hills between Parma and Reggio Emilia. Since 1976, Venturini’s name has been synonymous with the highest quality Lambrusco. Even so, they don’t stop there. As Vino Al Vino puts it:
“Their range spans from entry-level crushable bubbles fermented in the Charmat method through to traditional method, hand riddled, hand disgorged wines that press the envelope for the region, showing complexity and character unique to Emilia-Romagna’s terroir.”
They were the first Lambrusco producer to be certified organic (1976).
The Montelocco Lambrusco is their fun wine. Made from 100% Lambrusco Salamino, this wine is definilety Lambrusco. It’s full to the brim with Black cherry, juicy raspberries, black currant, plum, fresh figs, cola, vanilla, and a hint of black pepper. There is some tannins present that balances its fruity character. It's simply a delight! I personally enjoy this wine with a simple margarita pizza, but you can easily pair it with pasta, cheese, cream, butter, cured meats. Basically, anything that is Italian influenced.
Two very expressive yet uniquely fantastic wines for September!
Which low intervention wines will we feature next month? Sign up for KWM's Going Natural Wine Club and stay tuned!
Pip pip, cheerio,