2018 Podere Il Saliceto ‘Bi-Fri’ Bianco dell’Emilia Frizzante Secco
Region: Modena < Emilia-Romagna < Italy
Grapes: Trebbiano Modenese, Sauvignon Blanc
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, 50 year-old vines on sandy soils; primary fermentation in stainless steel, secondary fermentation in bottle with must from original harvest; minimal added sulfur and no filtering or fining; 300 cases; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Gianpaolo Isabella
We love the proliferation of interesting Italian ‘col fondo’ (‘with sediment’) bubbles, like this peppy little Bi-Fri (short for ‘bianco frizzante’) from Emilia-Romagna. Brother-in-law winemakers Gian Paolo and Marcello, who started the tiny Podere il Salecito estate in the classic Lambrusco area, near Modena, focus on unique local varietals like the Trebbiano Modenese here. We had the pleasure of visiting with Gianpaolo at his estate this summer, watched him machete his way through the vineyard to clear out overhang (super high-tech), and taste through the full lineup of wines, which were outstanding.
This lightly fizzy wine Bi-Fri is a perennial favorite -- it is versatile enough to stand in for Prosecco, which is most often industrially-produced, as your go-to bubbles, but also makes an amazing pairing with any sort of fried or snacky foods. Made in the ancestral method (Pet’Nat style), with one fermentation in the bottle that is halted by the seal of a crown cap, keeping the sediment – and energy – in the bottle. This one is what I call ‘delicious water’ – light, crisp, dry and a touch lemony, like mineral water – and it goes down way too easily, with practically anything.