Marina Thompson of Rome-based Thompson International Marketing is a wine marketing expert and a long time friend. She invited me to a Zoom telecast to discuss the wines of Romagna. It was scheduled to be in two parts and I was supposed to receive the wines to taste while viewing the program, however DHL, the US delivery agent, refused to deliver the wines to me as an individual. Fortunately, the wines were also sent to I Trulli Restaurant and I was able to try them there.
The speaker was Marina’s husband, Daniele Cernilli, aka Doctor Wine, and author of The Essential Guide to Italian Wine 2021.
Daniele began by describing the geography of the Emilia-Romagna region. The Romagna area is both south and west of Emilia and borders on the sea, so the climate is very different. They are like two different regions as far as the wine and food is concerned. In Emilia the typical wine is Lambrusco and in Romagna it is Sangiovese di Romagna. Daniele said that Sangiovese was in Romagna before it was in Tuscany and is always referred to as Sangiovese di Romagna.
Even the food is different. In Emilia they eat a rich menu of dishes like tortellini in brodo, tagliatelle Bolognese, mortadella and Parmigiano Reggiano. In Romagna the menu is much simpler with rice often instead of pasta, lots of vegetables, and less meat and cheese.
The wines of Romagna
All of these fine wines are looking for an importer in the U.S.
The prices are ex-cellar and in euros
Novebolle Romagna Doc Spumante NV Brut “Bolè Blue” made from 95% Trebbiano and 5% Famoso. Charmat method and the sugar is 8g/l. A slow fermentation for 90 days takes place in temperature controlled autoclaves. This is a fresh crisp fruity wine with hints of citrus fruit, white flowers and a note of yeast. It is an easy pleasant wine to drink. Daniele said it is inspired by the sparkling wines of Romagna that were in favor in the early Novecento. This is a delicate and fresh spumante with hints of citrus fruit and notes of white flowers. It is a very easy drinking wine and Italy’s newest Spumante DOC. This is the Consortium’s collective brand. There is also a Bole Rose. E 3
Bissoni Riserva 2016 Romagna DOC made from 100% Sangiovese Azienda Agricola Bissoni. Production area is Bertinoro, which is hilly. The soil is sandy clay and the vineyards are at 150 meters. Harvest takes place at the end of September and the beginning of October. The training method is spurred cordon and there are 3,300 plants per hectare. The vineyard was planted in 1991. The grapes are hand picked in clusters and then destemmed and pressed. Fermentation with the yeast takes place at a controlled temperature. Maceration is for 14/21 days. Malolactic fermentation is in stainless steel tanks. The wine ages in first and second-hand passage French oak barrels for 16 to 18 months and in bottle for at least 12 months before release. The wine has hints of ripe fruit, cherry, plum and red berries with a touch of tobacco and spice. The winery was certified organic in 2016. They only grow Sangiovese and Albana. E 10.50
Dracone Riserva 2011 Palazzona di Maggio made from 45% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. The vineyards are located in the hills of San Pietro Di Ozzano, in the Doc zone of Colli di Imola at 80 to 170 meters. The grapes are harvested by hand and come from the best and oldest part of the tenuta from the Poggio Alto and Quercia vineyards situated at 110 and 170 meters. Maceration takes place under controlled temperature and a post fermentation with a long Maceration with frequent pumping over. The wine is aged for 24 months on 500 liter oak barrels of first and second passage. The wine is in bottle for 18 months before release. It has hints of red berries, black currants and jam with a note of tobacco and spice. Daniele said there was a long tradition of international grapes in the area. He also said it was a big wine and reminded him of a California wine. The winery was certified organic in 2019. E 16.5
Sangiovese Superiore Di Romagna DOC “Beato Enrico” 2017 Tenuta Santini made from 100% Sangiovese Superiore di Romagna. The winery is in the town of Coriano very close to the Rimini Riviera. It is between Rimini and Riccione on the border with San Marino. Daniele said this was the winery’s most representative wine. The training system is cordone speronto and there are 3,300 vines per hectare and the vines are 12/15 years old. Fermentation is in steel with a controlled temperature. The wine spends 8 months in steel and glass. The wine has hints of red fruit, white flowers and a touch of blackberries. E 7.5
Cesco 1938 Tenuta Piccolo –Brunelli 2018 made from 100% Sangiovese from the Predappio sub zone. There are 7 hectares of vines at an altitude of 350 meters. There are 5,050 vines per hectare and the training system is spurred cordon. There is spontaneous fermentation with whole grapes followed by pumping over and breaking the cap by hand. The wine is aged in large Italian barrels and vitrified concrete tanks. The wine is not filtered. They also have a number of international varieties planted. In 2019 they started the transition to certified biological production. This is a wine with hints of red berries, red currants and a touch of blueberries. E 6.9
Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore “Morale” 2019 made from 100% Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Superiore Poderi Morini. The production zone is Oriolo Faenza. The vineyard is at 170 meters, the training system is guyot and there are 5,000 plants per hectare. Harvest takes place the first week of October. Vivification is in steel and the wine remains in bottle for two months before release. This is a fresh and fruity wine with hints of violets and red berries and a touch of blackberries. E 3.5