Cleto Chiarli’s wines add a little fizz to my life.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
Lambrusco is renowned for its natural fizziness that results in slightly sparkling wines. And with 150 years of know how and tradition, Cleto Chiarli makes several lovely wines, including Lambruscos. From the minerality of Sorbara to the fruitiness of the Grasparossa, their portfolio is a sparkling wine lover’s dream.
It all began in 1860, when Cleto Chiarli’s homemade Labrusco was so popular among guests at his restaurant, in Modena, that he took it to market—founding Chiarli. It was the first wine producing company in the Emilia-Romagna region. Building on their great grandfather’s success, Mauro and Anselmo Chiarli built a new winery in 2011—Cleto Chiarli. And the Chiarli estates are scattered throughout the Modena Province.
Cleto Chiarli Brut de Noir ($16) is a lovely and light Spumante. It is modern in style similar to rosé Champagne. It is pale pink in color, with notes of strawberry and raspberry. Vecchia Modena Premium ($15) the direct descendant of the wine awarded the “Mention Honorable” prize at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1900. Its bottle and label are reproductions of this wine. And in 2010 and 2012 it achieved the prestigious “Tre Bicchieri,” awarded to Italy’s finest wines. This wine is deep rosé in color, with notes of wild strawberry and brushwood, and highly acidic. Vigneto Enrico Cialdini ($15) is ruby red in color, with notes of blackberry, black cherry and raspberry very frothy, a persistent perlage and full round body. This red supports being well chilled, as its bubbles open the wine, rather than chilling closing the wine as it does most reds. Pruno Nero ($16) is deep ruby in color with purple foam, rich and round, offering fruity notes of blueberry and cherry. Its acidity is covered by residual sugar. And Centenario Amabile ($11) is a semi sweet that undergoes the Charmat Method of fermentation. It is very fruity and fragrant, full of dark fruit flavor with hints of fresh grapes on the palate. Each wine is just as lovely as the one before it and uniquely its own. Enjoy the variety.