Romagna is a historical region of Northern Italy located between the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea. The area corresponds to the south-eastern part of present-day Emilia-Romagna and borders the Republic of San Marino. It is one of the wealthiest and most developed regions in Europe with the oldest known university in the western world, Università di Bologna.
Food and wine do not only play an important part in the daily life of the Romagnoli (inhabitants of the Romagna) but are also an important part of the region’s economy. Today’s post is not about all the delicious pasta dishes, salumi and other deliciousness that the Romagna has to offer. Instead it is about a single grape variety that is grown pretty much in the whole Romagna but that is often associated with a different region: Sangiovese.
Just like its Tuscan brother Sangiovese di Romagna is used to produce everything from poor quality wines to fine, rich, long-living wines. One major theory of the origins of Sangiovese is linking the variety back to Mount Giove near Rimini, Romagna. In 1967, Sangiovese di Romagna became the regions very first DOC wine. Nowadays the variety is also used for wines in the Colli d’Imola appellation. While these appellations are not as famous as the Tuscan ones, the wines from the Romagna receive very high ratings in blind tastings and experts are speaking well of these wines.
Recently, I tasted a Sangiovese Riserva from Azienda Agricola Zuffa. The wine retails for around 18€. I think it is fair to say that almost all Tuscan Sangiovese wines of the same quality cost at least 5€ to 8€ more per bottle.
Tasting Notes: 2009 Zuffa – Infinitum – Colli d’Imola DOC
Azienda Agricola Zuffa is a small, family-run, certified organic, winery from Imola. They winery produces five red and six white wines. Most of the wines are varietal wines like the Infinitum, which is produced with 100% Sangiovese di Romagna. After fermentation in stainless steel vats, Infinitum ages in large oak barrels. Before moving on to my tasting notes I want to show you a short video about the winery. The video is in Italian but has English subtitles.
In 2012, Augusto Zuffa, proprietor and winemaker of Azienda Agricola Zuffa, was named as one of the most influential European organic wine makers by the Italian daily business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
In the glass, ruby red with garnet hues. 13% was the label listed alcohol by volume. Infinitum is classified as Colli d’Imola DOC
On the nose, a heavy aroma of black cherry, a bit of roasted coffee, some blackcurrant, nutmeg and a hint of vanilla. Well-developed bouquet.
In the mouth, Infinitum was quite rich, full-bodied and dry. Mellow, pleasing tannins. Very well-balanced wine with good aging potential. I tasted some berries and a little chocolate. Great harmony between nose and palate. Persistently, never-ending finish.
Colli d’Imola DOC
The appellation Colli d’Imola DOC was established in 1997 in a time where the hilly vineyards of the Emilia-Romagna lacked formal boundaries. Colli is Italian for hills. Next to the Colli d’Imola DOC two other Colli DOCs were established: Colli di Faenza and Colli di Rimini. Unlike many other appellations, the Colli d’Imola DOC allows the use of many grape varieties and is only restricted by its geographic boundaries. Sangiovese, Albana and Pignoletto are the two most important varieties grown in the Colli d’Imola DOC area. However, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are also widely planted.
Infinitum is a highly recommended Sangiovese that comes with a great quality-price ratio. As far as I know, the standard line of Zuffa’s wines are available in selected countries in Europe, China and the US. Infinitum might be more difficult to find abroad.
What I particular like about the Infinitum is that it is not as heavy as many of its Tuscan brothers. I paired the Infinitum with spezzatino di manzo (Italian beef stew). In my opinion, a delicious food and wine pairing.
That’s all for today. The glass is empty but a refill is on the way!