Here we are on our second weekly blog about the grape varieties cultivated in Lazio and the resulting wines. This week we are going to tell you about the Bombino (or little bomb – as per its literal translation), a grape varieties that is widely spread in Central and Southern Italy, especially Puglia, Abruzzo and, of course Lazio where is part of the blend in the various Frascati appellations (Cannellino, Superiore, Superiore Riserva and Spumante).
It’s thought to be coming originally from Spain but it has been cultivated in Lazio since ancient times. Its fortune arrived in the 60’s when, thanks to its good productivity and high reliability, it was often used to add acidity to the wines sold to Germany. These qualities are also the reasons for its nickname Pagadebit, mainly used in Emilia Romagna and literally meaning `debt payer`!
This grape variety is rarely a star performer and will never have a deep complexity but can produce quite different wines; from the dull, almost unflavoured and uninteresting ones resulting from high yields to the much more charming ones carefully handled on good soils with reduced yields that can show characters of medium ripe apple, chamomile and a touch of minerality.
The best examples are often coming from Puglia, but the grape is also a very important part of the Frascati blend so if you want to taste it you’d better get a good example of this wine and possibly enjoy it on a sunny day in the lovely roman countryside!