The medieval town of Lugo is home to a quaint castle and a magnificent opera house. It is also home to a 60-year-old co-operative winery. Indeed, Cevico is Italy’s second largest wine producer, sending out an astonishing 1,30,000 tons of wine into the world every year.
Just for the record, their bottling plant -- not far from Bologna, where a few other geniuses are busy round the year creating Ferrari and Lamborghini cars -- churns out 26,000 read-to-drink wine bottles every hour!
It’s tough to sip Cevico’s new offerings in India without these figures roaming around in the head. But we resist the urge to be overawed and gently roll the first wine before we put it to the nose test.
Trebbiano Chardonnay Rubicone IGT
This white wine, called the Egot, is of 2011 vintage and has been aged for four months. It is straw yellow colour and has an intense tropical fruit fragrance. We take a tiny sip and let it roll. The chardonnay is well balanced and rounded. We resist the temptation to pair it with cheese or a pasta since we want to keep out taste buds unaffected.
TIP: This wine is usually served chilled at 10-12 °C and goes well with pasta, rice dishes and cold cuts.
Merlot Sangiovese Rubicone IGT
Next up is a blend of Merlot and Sangiovese. This wine is light bodied and will be lovedby even those who do not like the aftertaste of tannin in the mouth. Jackie Matai, the co-founder of Aspri Spirits, which has brought Cevico to India, says this is one of his favourites. “Those who enjoy their reds will love this,”
TIP: Goes well with pretty much everything and surprisingly, tastes nice even if mildy pre-chilled.
Golden Sparrow Chardonnay Rubicone IGT
This is a blend of Chardonnay and Rubicone. It looks brilliant and bright yellow and leaves a fresh and very fruity aftertaste. This is a drier wine though equally well-balanced. If put to vote though, I prefer the first one to this. But then taste is very individual.
TIP: This, as Francesco Paganelli of Gruppo Cevico tells us, goes well with fish, vegetables and white meats. Like any white wine, this is also served chilled.
Golden Sparrow Sangiovese Rubicone IGT
The final wine of the evening is a blend of Sangiovese and Rubicone. The delicate aromas of red berries surprises us on this 2011 vintage. This has fine tannins and is for those who enjoy a full-bodied red.
TIP: Ideal with roast and grilled meat. Cevico’s three bottling plants produce many other varietals. After all there are a few thousand wine varietals registered in Italy (compare this to just a few dozen in India). Let’s hope we get to see their other premium wine varietals soon.