It is made from a vine of the same name, Lambrusco di Sorbara, which is a native variety of remote origins.
It grows in sparse, conical clusters bearing spherical fruits, the abundance of which varies from year to year (while the grapes retain the same size of a few millimeters).
This is due to a flowering anomaly, that can give rise to a considerable loss of fruit. It has now been ascertained that the phenomenon, typical of Lambrusco di Sorbara, is caused, above all, by the sterility of the pollen. In some years, it has been known to bring about a drop of over 30% in the amount of grapes harvested for production.
But it is this peculiarity that makes it so outstanding, memorable and particularly admired. It stands alone among the range of Lambrusco wines and shares its qualified position with other noble vines cultivated in Italy and France (the prime example being Picolit).
As we have said, production is always limited and, in some years, it is extremely hard to come by. But what is lacking in quantity is more than made up for in quality, always of the highest. To facilitate fertilization the Sorbara vine is cultivated with a percentage of Salamino Lambrusco, the vines growing side by side n the same vineyard.
Region of origin and geology
The traditional area of cultivation lies between the Secchia and Panaro rivers. Formed from a conjunction of the flood plains of the two rivers, its soils are mainly sandy and loose, permeable and rich in potassium. The further we move away from this area, the more mixed the soil is, becoming mainly clayey outside the area delimited by the rules of production.
When the vine is grown on soils with a higher clay content, the wine takes on a deeper color than usual and loses much of its scent. Cultivated in the hilly zones and at the foot of hills close to Modena and in the bordering provinces, the vine appears very much the same to those growing on clayey soils.
Ruby to garnet with a pinkish froth, it is the lightest in color of Modena’s four DOP Lambruscos. It has a fresh, pronounced, very fine scent, with a distinct hint of violets, which represents the most typical and distinctive characteristic of this wine. Its taste is delicate, tangy and well-balanced, pleasantly acidulous and fruity due to its high acidity and rather unpronounced body (easy and delicious to drink when still young). Rather than a symphony or full-orchestral piece, it is better likened to a solo composition, but performed with such harmony and so refined in style, that the audience is held completely enthralled. Without doubt, it is the perfect match for the more substantial dishes of renowned Emilian cuisin.