THE MYTHICAL ALBANA, in our stage #29, led by sommelier Marco Casadei (winner Friulano master 2016, Sangiovese master 2017, Albana master 2017)
Fattoria Zerbina , Marzeno (RA)
I could tell you many things about Fattoria Zerbina: a story of over 50 years on the hills of Faenza, in the Marzeno area. The qualitative turning point occurred in 1987, with the entry into the company of the current owner Maria Cristina Gemignani, who began a great work on Sangiovese, with the rediscovery of the Romagna sapling - an ancient form of breeding, which has always been present in this part of the Romagna. And again: the choice to invest in Albana in its darkest period and the visionary and successful bet to seek the path of noble rot on this extraordinary vine.
But, in addition to all this, I want to tell you about the great precision and passion that Cristina puts every day into the care of her vineyards, which I personally tested while working in the company during the difficult 2014 harvest. Maximum attention, attention to detail and above all contagious enthusiasm! A piece of history of Romagna wine and in particular of Albania, which could not be missing from your boxes.
Marta Valpiani , Castrocaro Terme (FC)
We climb the hills above the city of Castrocaro Terra del Sole and find ourselves faced with a breathtaking panorama that tells of all the beauty - harsh and arid - of the Romagna gullies. The Marta Valpiani company is located here, a small artisan business, founded in 1999, which immediately focused on the two most imported Romagna vines: Sangiovese and Albana.
The great qualitative growth of the latest harvests also occurred thanks to the happy and graceful hand of Elisa, Marta's daughter, who personally takes care of the vineyard and cellar, and her great ability to restore in the glass the unique terroir of this area of Romagna, made up of limestone, with the typical formation of Romagna spikes, yellow sands and blue clays.
Precision wines, which start from great care of the vineyard and the protection of its diversity, followed by very few interventions in the cellar, where concrete reigns supreme.
Tension, drinkability and all the mineral facets that Albana expresses in the Castrocaro area are the "trademarks" of Elisa's Albana.
Ancarani , Faenza (RA)
On the first hills between the cities of Forlì and Faenza, more precisely in Oriolo dei Fichi where the historic fortress has presided over these places since 1457, we meet the Ancarani company, a small and dynamic company from Romagna which for years has cultivated only native varieties, in full respect of the biodiversity of the territory.
The albane of the cellar are sunny, welcoming and convivial wines just like those who produce them. They faithfully tell of these splendid hills where in summer, in addition to the green of the vineyards, gold is the predominant color which is made up of the shades of the wheat fields, of the soil composed of yellow sands - which give Albana its mineral nuances –, and long blond bunches of albana.
A peasant approach, artisanal production but also a lot of preparation and precision, Rita and Claudio's wines are like this: they will always welcome you with a smile and will entertain you.
Ceparano White, Romagna Albana Secco, Fattoria Zerbina
Vineyards approximately 20 years old. Fermentation in steel on yeasts selected in the company, which Cristina has been using for many years now. After fermentation the wine remains in cement on its lees for a few months before bottling which takes place in spring.
A wine that enhances the freshness of Albana without sacrificing structure and depth. Bright straw yellow, with green reflections. The nose opens delicately with aromas ranging from citrus to pear, up to a light touch of aromatic herbs such as fresh sage...
Refreshing and vertical sip, accompanied by salt, closes on a medium persistent finish.
A beautiful version of Bianco di Ceparano, the result of a fresh vintage in Romagna and with great perspective. A wine that can age for a long time and will reach its peak in 2 to 3 years.
Serve at 10-12°C.
Pairing: salmon tartare, avocado and lime zest.
Delyus, Marta Valpiani
This Albana is produced in the youngest vineyards. The harvest takes place towards the end of August.
Spontaneous fermentation, vinification in steel, aging in cement for 6 months.
Straw yellow color with golden reflections, very bright.
The nose opens delicately, all played on mineral aromas, ranging from rock to saltiness. Then comes the crunchy yellow fruit.
The sip goes straight like an arrow, between an electric freshness and a lot of flavor on the finish, characteristics that immediately make you want a second glass.
A wine to drink today, but which can improve in the bottle for another 1-2 years.
Serve at 10-12°C.
Pairing: prawns with sweet Cervia salt.
This Albana comes from a selection of the company's youngest plants: here the soils are mainly composed of clay and silt. The year was not very productive, Peronospera created serious problems in a very rainy May and June. So the plants had little grapes, but very concentrated ones. The wine ferments in steel, without contact with the skins. Fermentation is spontaneous. It refines in concrete on its lees until late spring. Then the final passage in steel, very light filtration followed by bottling.
Straw yellow with golden reflections. Inviting nose with notes of apricot, yellow-fleshed peach followed by mineral sensations. Greedy sip, pleasantly warm, relaxed and fresh at the right point; closes with a juicy and tasty finish.
Good immediately or to be refined for a few more months in the bottle for even greater satisfaction.
Serve at 10-12°C.
If Albana is good at the table, this Perlagioia is even more so! Try it with white lasagna with courgettes and prawns.
Tergeno Ravenna white, Fattoria Zerbina
A part of the grapes (60%) is harvested in the same period as that of Bianco di Ceparano (Box Enthusiast), the other 40% is harvested late, with botrytis attack.
The vines are about 20 years old. Fermentation in steel on selected yeasts in the company that Cristina has been using for many years now.
An original and intriguing interpretation of the Albanian. Elegant aromas of white peach, apricot, a light touch of candied ginger and a rocky minerality. The mouth is the real strength of this wine: it plays on contrasts, between softness and hardness. On the one hand it opens warm, material and with a slightly sweet touch, given by the late harvest of the grapes. Characteristics that soon give way to a clear acidic tension, which slims the palate and lengthens it towards a tasty and very long finish. A wine that is born from contrasts, but immediately finds its balance, which it will keep in the bottle for a long time.
My tasting experiences tell me that this wine will have a very long life, up to 10 years!
Serve at 10-12°C.
Pairing: fois gras escalope with caramelized Tropea red onion and potato quenelle flavored with thyme.
Madonna of the Flowers, Marta Valpiani
Madonna dei Fiori comes from four different vineyard parcels located along the valley of the Montone river, starting from Terra del Sole up to almost Dovadola.
The grapes come from very old vines that are 30 to 60 years old.
The harvest takes place towards the end of August. Spontaneous fermentation, vinification in steel, aging in cement for 6 months, then in the bottle for 8-10 months before being released on the market.
The color is a very bright golden yellow.
The nose opens with sweet notes of chamomile, apricot, ripe yellow peach, then the minerality becomes the protagonist with its marine and salty traits, on the finish there is also a touch of rosemary.
Round sip, pleasantly warm, it has structure, fleshiness, an incisive minerality, but above all a very long and tasty finish.
He is starting to express his potential now, in a couple of years he will be even more at the top.
Serve at 10-12°C.
Pairing: cappelletti in capon broth.
Santa Lusa, Ancarani
The Santa Lusa comes from the company's oldest vineyards (34 years) grown with the typical Romagna pergoletta. The land, rich in sand, is the highest in the company: it overlooks the sea and the Oriolo Tower. The grapes are harvested at full ripeness, almost slightly overripe. Brief maceration on the skins, for about 3 days.
The fermentation is done in steel, then the wine undergoes a long refinement in cement for about a year and a half. Then the final passage in steel, very light filtration followed by bottling.
The wine looks like liquid gold in the glass. The nose opens on mineral aromas, followed by ripe yellow fruit such as golden apple, then hay and dried aromatic herbs. Rich, fleshy mouthfeel (it has a lot of substance!), saline; freshness is not lacking at all despite a torrid summer in Romagna.
Already excellent now, it can improve even further in the bottle for 1-2 years.
Serve at 10-12°C.
The tannic sensation is also very pleasant and gives an extra touch to this wine, making it suitable for often unexpected combinations for a white such as a chicken and vegetable tajine.