NEWSLETTER VI MMXVII
ca de noci
Emilia Romagna has always had a strong draw for us. The rolling hills to the south of the region's ancient towns are spectacularly beautiful and home to some of the best food you can find. Sitting at a table eating warm crescentine with lardo and drinking Lambrusco is one of the finest dining experiences to be had. In the food there is a tradition of simplicity founded upon the ingredients; wine works with this tradition in true symbiosis. One not only needs the other but is elevated by being enjoyed alongside; a perfect marriage. These are pairings that need no sommelier standing over your shoulder—the instinctive balance of acidity and fat, fruit and salt—they create thirst, then quench it.
Brothers Alberto and Giovanni Masini of Cà de Noci make wines that not only respect the traditions of the area but surpass and expand them. We first tasted their wines in a roadside hotel on the outskirts of Taranto in 2010 and were amazed by their purity and finesse. Eight years on and it is incredible how consistently excellent their wines have been considering the challenging vintages they have seen and that they add nothing to their wines. They clearly have a deft touch.
The brothers farm their family's five hectares near Quattro Castela in the hills south of Reggio Emilia. Here, in the 1970s, their father Vittorio planted some vines to compliment the walnut trees that give the farm its name. Vittorio planted the local white grape Spergola which was practically extinct, and since then, under the stewardship of the Masini family, it still thrives here in the poor soils of the valley running down to the river Crostolo.
In the early 90s Alberto and Giovanni joined their father and planted more vines on the land around the house (Malvasia, Moscato and more Spergola) and up in the hills behind (Malbo Gentile, Grasparossa, Sgavetta, Montericco and Cabernet Sauvignon). Their aim was to continue what their father had begun by reintroducing some of the local varieties that were becoming increasingly rare and to focus on the sparkling winemaking that was the tradition of the area. Following tradition, it therefore made sense to work without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in their vineyards and to continue this philosophy in the winery.
The sparkling wines themselves are extraordinary. Their Riserva di Fratelli (or De.Fratelli) is made with the 40 year old Spergola planted around the farmhouse. The juice is macerated with the skins for a few days during the fermentation and is bottled with must to start the second fermentation. It then stays on the lees in bottle for 36 months. The result is a wine that has familiar toasted notes but remains incredibly savoury and vinous.
The Sottobosco, their Lambrusco, is an hommage to the local red grapes that have been the base of the table wines of the area for centuries. However, the wine itself is of lighter, fresher and more delicate body than what we commonly associate with Lambrusco. Sottobosco, 'undergrowth', is a fitting name as not only does the wine seem packed with fruits-of-the-forest but has a wonderfully leafy, mulchy savouriness.
Their still wines, Notte di Luna and Gheppio, riff on traditional grapes but take them their own way. Like the sparkling wines these are wines for the table and the fat of Emilian cuisine.
Le Rose 2016
(Malvasia di Candia)
(Grasparossa, Lambrusco di Montericco, Sgavetta)
Notte di Luna 2015
(Spergola, Malvasia, Moscato)
(Malbo Gentile, Cabernet Sauvignon)
ORDERS & DELIVERY
You can buy our wines to take away from our bar and warehouse at 40 Maltby Street.
We offer a 10% discount on cases of 6 and above, and can deliver within London and beyond.
Call us on 020 7237 9247
OR email email@example.com