From “Bubbling Under: Can the scion of an Italian winemaking dynasty bring back Lambrusco’s once-sparkling reputation?” By Lawrence Osborne (Men’s Vogue 2008).
“I jumped at the chance to have dinner with Alicia Lini [above],” wrote acclaimed writer Lawrence Osborne in 2008, “and to drink four wines from her stable: the traditional Lambrusco lineup of red, white, rosé, and metodo classico. Pleasantly enough, Lini in person is also a bit like Sophia Loren.”
“It’s been an uphill struggle for Lambrusco,” she admitted as we started on the special Centovini menu created, as it were, for her. “It’s taken 10 years for people to realize that we didn’t make that awful stuff. But our winery has been around for many decades.” In fact, the family-run operation goes back to 1910, and Alicia represents the fourth generation of Lini Lambrusco makers. “We have always made a cork-finished dry wine that is nothing like what most people think of as Lambrusco.”
I asked Alicia if these were the kinds of Lambrusco her grandfather would have drunk. (Or mine, for that matter.)
“Certainly. It’s not a romanticism to say so. We never changed our style for a moment. It’s the same wine as always.”
We drank the red Labrusca Rosso — the operation’s flagship — with tortelli in brodo. It had a purply foam that died off almost at once and a taste of dark cherries. The wine was coolly playful, fresh, racy — and with an unexpected hint of depth. We went through the whole bottle comfortably. Next up, the rosé, which Lini makes from the Salamino and Sorbara clones: It brought a sparkling touch to [a] bollito misto — the traditional wintry “boiled dinner” of short ribs, veal tongue, capon, and cotechino sausage. Lambrusco, I realized, isn’t just a summer drink.
But the evening’s crown jewel was the metodo classico, an apple-gold wine good enough to be mistaken for a small-house Champagne. Sophia Loren? Her, and a dash of Monica Vitti with a few bubbles of Gina Lollobrigida, too.
The following is an excerpt from Lettie Teague’s 2010 article for the Wall Street Journal, “Riunite Was Nice, but There’s More to Lambrusco.”
“But then we got to the Lambruscos from the Lini Estate,” writes Lettie, “considered one of the best Lambrusco producers of all. Mike was home [she was tasting with American restaurant veteran Michael Avella who now serves as the GM for Bill Murray’s restaurant group]. ‘This is what I’m looking for,’ he said, when I poured him a glass of the Lini 910 Metodo Classico Rosso. ‘It’s lively with a wonderful floral bouquet. And it dances. Lambrusco should dance on your palate,’ he added. And needless to say, the foam was great.”
Lini has “become one of the most sought-after Lambruscos around,” she adds in the piece.
“There were several Linis that impressed” her and fellow taster Mike in their tasting of 20 Lambruscos.
“The Metodo Classico Rosso was Michael’s favorite but the Scuro [above] was my favorite — a big, rich but still beautifully ‘foamy’ Lambrusco that will pair beautifully with food.”
Earlier this year, Lini began working with a new California importer who has really expanded the winery’s presence there.
We couldn’t have been more pleased to learn that Lini Lambrusco is now served at Perbacco in San Francisco, where executive chef and co-owner Staffan Terje is putting out some of the best Italian food in the U.S. today.
Just look at the hand-rolled pasta in the image above (via the restaurant’s website). Can you think of a better place to drink Lini?
We can’t wait to get out there in the early spring and ORDER EVERYTHING ON THE MENU!
Thank you chef Staffan and thank you wine director Umberto Gibin!
The work you guys are doing is truly spectacular and we couldn’t be more proud to be part of your program.
230 California St.
San Francisco CA 94111
It’s not every day that one of the leading wine writers in Italy names one of your wines “the best” of the year in one of Italy’s top wine guides.
So you can imagine how thrilled we were to learn that Daniele Cernilli, who has been writing about Italian wine for more than 30 years, called our “In Correggio” Metodo Classico Rosso “the best Lambrusco of the year” and gave it a whopping score of 95 out of 100 points.
It was only natural that we would post the news on our social media.
But we couldn’t believe our eyes yesterday when Daniele — aka Doctor Wine — posted the following note on our Facebook:
“It’s not only the best Lambrusco of the year, it’s one of the best ever.”
We are truly humbled by his words.
The “In Correggio” Lambrusco Rosso Metodo Classico is made using the “traditional method” of sparkling wine production (otherwise known as the Champagne method).
100 percent Salamino grapes are first made into a base wine. A second fermentation is then provoked and the wine is sealed and stored at a 45° angle in racks like the one above in the photo (in our wine cellar). There the wine then ages “on its lees” (the lees are yeast cells that become solids after fermentation is complete). Every week, we gently turn the bottles by hand (yes, exclusively by hand) until the aging process is complete. When the wine is ready, it is disgorged of its sediment and bottled.
Most Lambrusco producers make their wines in large pressurized vats, no turning of the bottle required. We make our Labrusca line like that as well. But for this 100 percent Lambrusco Salamino, we take extra special care to make sure that it’s one of the greatest expressions of Emilian viticulture. We believe that this meticulous and time-consuming process is what makes the wine stand out.
It’s so nice to know that someone like Daniele Cernilli noticed!
Thank you, Daniele! You are a scholar and a gentleman!
We were thrilled to learn that Daniele Cernilli (above), one of the world’s preeminent Italian wine writers, has named our 2006 Lambrusco In Correggio Rosso “the best Lambrusco of the year” in his forthcoming Doctor Wine Guide to the wines of Italy.
He awarded the wine a whopping 95 points!
We couldn’t be more pleased.
Many of you will remember Daniele as one of the founding editors of the Gambero Rosso guide.
In recent years, he’s devoted his time to his own project, Doctor Wine, a bi-lingual online tasting note portal where he and his editors also profile leading Italian wineries and wines (the site has a ton of great English-language content, btw).
Thank you, Daniele, and thank you, Doctor Wine!
The new guide will be presented next month in Milan at a gala event. Lini will be there… with bells on!
We just had to share the above photo, snapped recently at the popular Roman restaurant Baccano, not far from the Trevi Fountain.
The “Mediterranean bistro” hot spot is currently featuring Lini wines — nearly our entire line of wines!
It’s an example of how much Italians — even outside of Emilia — seem to enjoy our Lambrusco.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to be featured in such a chic dining destination.
Baccano (pronounced bahk-KAHN-oh) means “hullabaloo” in Italian. Could there be a better place for our wines?
When in Rome… drink Lini Lambrusco!
Via delle Muratte 23
+39 06 6994 1166