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The TerraQuilia 2018 Lambrusco dell'Emilia Falconero Zero is a stunning bottle of sparkling wine. While showing exceptional freshness, it mixes slightly bitter essences of rustic herbs and spices with the softer flavors and aromas of dried red and blue fruits. The bubbles seem to crackle in the glass when first poured, producing a zippy mouthfeel that pricks at the tongue, and eccentuates the crispy, dry notes of clove, stripped bark and licorice. Over time, however, when the wine has had a moment to relax, the structure transforms into only a slightly effervescent host of warm dried forest fruits, like wild cherry and blueberry. I love wines that have two faces. The ones that change from one interesting mode to another.
The Terraquilia estate is located in Guigila, south of Modena in Emilia-Romagna. Grapes are, and have always been, grown organically. Fermentation is done naturally, and only low doses of sulfur are used for stablization. All the wines offered today are produced in the metodo ancestrale, which means the wine is bottled before fermentation is finished, allowing bubbles of carbon dioxide to naturally develop as fermenation runs its course in bottle. There is no dosage. In the case of the Falconero Zero, after a few months of lees aging, the wine is riddled, then disgorged. It is sediment free, clean and edgy. The two other wines that we're offering today, the 2017 Lambrusco dell'Emilia Col Fondo Falcorubens and the 2018 Bianco dell'Emilia Col Fondo Terrebianche are not disgorged, and they reflect this in their more savory and softer texture.
As for me, the Falconero Zero drank perfectly alongside some hommeade caponata. Not a complicated dish, but full of contrasting flavors. If you're experimenting in the kitchen these days, as most of the world's population seems to be doing, I couldn't recommend these bottles enough. They are supremely drinkable, and all three can be paired with a versatile list of dishes. Great for those pushing their culinary boundaries during this Autumn in quarantine! David Hatzopoulos
In Emilia-Romagna, Terraquila creates red méthode ancestrale sparklings from organic Lambrusco Grasparossa. The wine goes through a cold maceration with the skins. It is aged for 15 months on the lees and is released without disgorgement. The color of the Falcorubens is a dense red. Aromatically, the wine offers roasted coffee and dark forest fruit, with a touch of barnyard and earth. Similarly, the palate is full of burly flavors like smoke, plum, raw herbs, and espresso. The structure is soft with a touch of tannin. A lovely wine to sip, a great bubbly for the cooler weather. David Hatzopoulos
A blend of Pignoletto, also known as Grechetto Gentile, and Trebbiano, from organically farmed grapes. Bottled after halting fermentation, allowing carbonation to develop within the bottle. It is not disgorged, and is cellar aged for 15 months before release. In the glass, the color is a silvery lemon. On the nose, there are rich floral aromas, ripe lemon fruit, and sliced apricots. Like the TerraQuilia reds, this sparkling white is a touch herbaceous, balancing a faint bitterness on the edge of zingy lemon fruit and dried stone fruit. The palate has a bright core, but a softness in surrounding texture, creating a very compelling mouthfeel. Highly drinkable, but full of character. David Hatzopoulos
This is the second vintage of Terraquila Falconero Zero that I've been able to taste. Less earthy funk than the 2017, but full of the same dried fruits and herbal tonic essence. The wine is made from organically grown Lambrusco Grasparossa and Malbo Gentile. It is fermented on the skins for 6-7 days and rests on the lees for 15 months before being discorged. On the nose, there are dark flowers, raisins, dried cherries and blueberries. On the palate, the wine has flavors of crushed dark stones, plum peel, a touch of licorice, quinine and clove, all rounded out with savory black cherry. What I like most about the Falconero Zero is that it has a blanket of dense, firm bubbles initially, but when the carbonation softens, a wonderful mouthfeel follows. Its as dry as dry can be, fitting perfectly with the wine's slight bitterness. Paired with homemade caponata and a marathon of Michael Douglas movies... a Sunday that'll be hard to beat. David Hatzopoulos