Exploring Sangiovese di Romagna: 2009 Zuffa – Infintum – Colli d’Imola DOC

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.

2009 Azienda Agriocla Zuffa - Infinitum Riserva - Colli d'Imola DOCPrior to drinking the wine was decanted for roughly one hour.

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.

3.5 / 5 stars      

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.

Parting Words

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!


13 comments on “Exploring Sangiovese di Romagna: 2009 Zuffa – Infintum – Colli d’Imola DOC”

  1. Sean P. Reply

    I didn’t know that San Giovese is a native grape of the Emiloa-Romagna. Always learn something new from your blog posts.
    Infinitum sounds like a pretty good wine. Thanks!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thank you for your kind words. I learned about this only recently at a wine tasting. I found it interesting because I somehow always thought that Sangiovese as a native variety of Tuscany.

  2. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    The video doesn’t seem to be working. At least I can’t get it to work..
    Zuffa is a winery I’m not familiar with but this Sangiovese sounds like a wine I’d enjoy!

    • wineking3 wineking3 Reply

      @Hannah It’s working fine for me.

      @Julian Haven’t tasted the Infinitum yet and I don’t think there is a US-based importer for it. I found a couple of other Zuffa wines that are available in the US online but not the Infinitum. Sucks!

      • Julian Rossello Reply

        I thought so.. Last time I met Zuffa at VinItaly in Verona he told me that he has importers for China and some European countries and that only some of this wines are exported to the US.

  3. foodwine88 Reply

    It’s amazing how many less-known wineries you know! The wines from smaller wineries tend to be often the ones with the best QPR.
    Zuffa is on my to try list now. Looking forward to taste these wines (if available).

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thank you!
      I agree with you. Many of my favorite wines are made by smaller wineries. Italy has so many wineries that it would be a shame to only try wine from the big labels.
      Enjoy the Zuffa wines 🙂

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  5. Andy Andy Reply

    Italy has so many DOCs and every year a few more are created. It’s hard to keep track of all of them. Colli d’Imola is one I haven’t heard of before. Most Sangiovese-made wines that I tasted were from Tuscany. I’ll be on the lookout for this or a similar wine from the Romagna..

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Some regions in Italy like Piedmont and Tuscany have quite a lot of appellations but others like Sicily and Aosta Valley do not. The Aosta Valley for example only has one single DOC (Valle d’Aosta DOC) and no DOCG appellation.

      Hope you’ll enjoy your first Sangiovese di Romagna!

  6. drinkforlife Reply

    Most Sangiovese wines that I drink comes from Tuscany. I don’t think I ever tried one from Romagna. Are they available in the US or is this a wine only available in the domestic market?

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Sangiovese di Romagna is also available abroad but it might not be that easy to find because Tuscan Sagiovese is more well-known in and outside of Italy.

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