Friday, May 31, 2019

Over 150 Years of Dedication to Lambrusco with Cleto Chiarli

Let’s talk lambrusco today and put a little pep in your step with this sparkling wine hailing from the Emilia Romagna region.  Earlier this week I gave some insight into the lambrusco of today and shed some light on its origins and how far it is has come along with the different styles and areas of Emilia Romagna in which it is produced.  
A little late to the game in sharing these wines, but last year I attended a portfolio tasting from the importer Dalla Terra. I met with owner Anselmo Chiarli and Beatrice Pellini. I have wanted the perfect time to write about the wines from Cleto Chiarli that I enjoyed at that tasting.   The time is now so let’s go!  
Anselmo Chiarli and Beatrice Pellini of Cleto Chiarli
Anselmo Chiarli & Beatrice Pellini
The Winery ~ Cleto Chiarli 
Cleto Chiarli has been in the family producing wine for over 150 years and has been instrumental in getting lambrusco to where it is today.  They were the first wine producing company in Emilia Romagna back in 1860.  Founder Cleto Chiarli decided to close his osteria where he had been using his wines and to sell them on the market.  Today the winery is run by the 4th generation of family members including the great grandsons, Mauro and Anselmo Chiarli.   

The size of Cleto Chiarli’s production is tremendous.  Back in 1910 the winery was producing 1 million bottles and today produces over 20 million bottles.  An interesting fact, but they were the first in Emilia Romagna to adopt the charmat method. 
2016 Cleto Chiarli Vigneto Cialdini Lambrusco Grasparossa  
Wines ~ Cleto Chiarli  
2016 Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di CastelvetroVigneto Cialdini” DOC (Brut – RS 13 g/l) 
Definitely the favorite of the line of wines I tried.  This is produced from a single vineyard of 12.5 hectares (30 acres).  A beautiful deep, ruby color with gorgeous fruit exuded on the nose.  A dry lambrusco rich with plums and blackberries with fizzy bubbles to liven up the palate with some tannins left behind lingering on the finish.  ABV 11% SRP $14-16 
Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro “Centenario” NV DOC Amabile (RS 50 g/l) 
As you can see this lambrusco has a high residual sugar and is low in alcohol at about 8%.  Deep ruby in color with a purplish tinge.  An aromatic nose of blackberries, black cherries, plums and raspberries.  Semi-sweet and frothy bubbles.  Medium in body as well as acidity and tannin with ripe berries.   A perfect refreshing sipper for the warm weather upon us. ABV 8% SRP $12-14 
2016 Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco di Sorbara “Premium Vecchia Modena” DOC (Brut – RS 8 g/l) 
The flagship wine of Cleto Chiarli this was my 3rd favorite of the bunch.  It’s grown at one of their 3 estates, Tenuta Sozzigalli, which is the largest just north of Modena near the Secchia river.  A juicy wine with intense strawberries on the nose and palate.  A fresh, floral wine rather dry with crisp acidity. SRP $15-17   
So what’s the difference between lambrusco di sorbara and lambrusco di graparossaFrom this tasting alone there was a noticeable difference between the two.  Those lambrusco di sorbara were lighter in color showing fresh fruit and bright acidity.  The grasparossa di castelvetro were deeper in color leaning towards purple with a heftier body.  The fruits tended to be between red and dark fruits with tannins present.  All depends on personal preference and maybe mood as I appreciated both styles. 
With these wines only costing about $15 give or take per bottle it would be a shame not to experience them for yourself.  When I toured this region they were quite enjoyable with a platter of the local prosciutto, salami and local cheeses. 


  1. Haha! We must have been shopping at the same place! Our favorites matched, but the other two were swapped. Interesting. Thanks for hosting, Jen.

  2. Wow, I wish I could taste 3 Lambruscos from the same producer but have not been so lucky. I really loved this month's theme for Lambrusco, since it is one of my faves. Thank you so much for hosting!

  3. Great introduction of how Cleto Chiarli shapes the Lambrusco history. Great wine portfolio too from Brut to Amabile. Thanks for coordinating for this month's post!

  4. You and Cam have inspired me to try other Lambrusco from this company. I was very pleased with the bottle I had.

  5. The Cleto Chiarli range of wines is so impressive, very cool that you had the opportunity to meet them! Thanks for hosting this month, Lambrusco is always welcome at our house.

  6. Cool experience! Glad you were able to share that with us!

  7. Sounds like Cleto Chiarli is the standard-bearer of Lambrusco wine. How fun that you got to chat with them in person! And thanks for giving us such a thought-provoking topic this month - it's been a great exploration!