Montesissa 'Rio Mora' Emilia Rosso Frizzante 2020
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Press 4 Red • August 2023 Direct Press Selection
Elisabetta Montesissa is following in the footsteps—though maybe not foot stomps—of her grandfather. "My grandad pressed with his feet, now we have a machine to do it," she says. "My grandad bottled without doing analyses. Now we do analyses on the residual sugar. These are the only differences. I’ve always lived among vineyards and in agriculture. My grandad and my father have always farmed this way. We have been working for three generations to farm our soils respecting the biological cycles, so we can protect the environment and safeguard the health of consumers. We also farm cereals (particularly traditional grains that we use to produce flour and pasta), corn and others arable lands for animal’s alimentation and to consent a good soil rotation. We also have olive trees that we will use in a few years to produce oil. We try to be independent also with vegetables and fruit by our garden. As for the wine, we have always done it as we do it now, respecting the history and the tradition. A wine that is done with a spontaneous bottle fermentation only with indigenous yeasts and without the use of chemistry in the vineyards and in the cellar."
Her 'Rio Mora' is another lightly sparkling red wine from Piacenza, a style that is pretty irresistible once you have it with the right food. A blend of Barbera and Bonarda (aka Croatina) with zero sulfur added, it is proudly rustic, with barnyard aromas that accompany lively blueberry and cured meat notes. The Barbera gives it bright acidity and the Bonarda provides a mineral, tannic backbone to create a wine that is refreshing, complex, and could not be duplicated anywhere else in the world. Elisabetta says, "traditionally it goes well with important meat dishes such as roasts and braised meats, but also with stuffed pasta and vegetables. It can be a perfect accompaniment for hamburgers or a very stuffed pizza." Jonathan Kemp