While the phenomenal Sangiovese producer Zerbina, is still small and family-run, I’m afraid I won’t be able to consider it as off the radar for much longer. After all, almost every bottle goes direct to the most elite restaurants in the country, their Gambero Rosso is a perennial ‘Tre Bicchieri’ award winner (some sort of record number of times in a row), and the press has caught on finally. I fear that the minuscule amount of her wine that does make it stateside will be cut and prices are bound to catch up.
The transformation of a very good winery to one of the best in all of Italy is overwhelmingly the work of the uber-talented owner/winemaker Cristina Geminani. After studying in Bordeaux – under Denis Dubourdieu, she returned and transformed not just the vineyard practices at Zerbina but arguably throughout the wider Italian Sangiovese landscape.
The Gambero Rosso described it as follows: “Sometimes the impact of a winery is so positive that it enriches a whole area with its quality, consistency and continuity. This is true of Fattoria Zerbina…”
Robert Parker, himself, said “I occasionally wonder what I should write about the wines of Cristina Geminani, the owner-winemaker of this estate, one of the most talented women in Italian wine…and about the quality of the wines there is little to discuss – this is the leading estate in Emilia-Romagna, has been so for fifteen years, and it cannot be ignored.”