It is aways a pleasure to attend a tasting and lunch at Il Gattopardo organized by Susannah Gold. This time is was Lugana wines and Susannah was the speaker.
Lugana comes from an area that is on the border between the two provinces of Brescia and Verona and the DOC region stretches along an area south of Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. The word Lugana may come from the early medieval word “lucus” meaning wood. In the past the area was covered by the Selva Lucana, a dense, marshy forest. Today the area is characterized by a very particular soil. The soil is white clay and limestone and difficult to till. This, however, gives the grapes here an extraordinary elegance and tanginess.
Lugana wine can be described as being fresh with body and a good balance between sweetness and acidity. Lugana is made from the Turbiana grape, aka Trebbiano di Lugana, and may be related to Verdicchio. There are 5 different styles of Lugana from sparkling to late harvest. The wine sells at a good price around $20 a bottle. Lugana goes best with white meats or fish. Try it with sushi.
Lake Garda is one of my favorite Italian lakes and in summer 90% of the tourists are German. The biggest market for Lugana is Germany.
We started with Sguardi di Terra Spumante Brut Lugana Metedo Classico “Inlàri” DOC NV made from 100% Turbiana. Grapes are grown organically. Hand harvested. Traditional winemaking method 15 months in the bottle on the lees. Hand harvested. The wine has hints of citrus fruit, yellow fruit and brioche.
First Course –Casoncelli Tradizionali di Burro e Salvia
Citari Lugana Sorgente 2020 made from 100% Turbiana. The soil is moraine with calcareous clay combinations and rich in mineral salts. There are 5,800 wines per hectare. Harvest from young vines takes place the last week of September. The grapes are picked manually into boxes, two rounds. Vinification is in stainless steel. The wine ages for 7 months of which 6 is on the lees.
La Meridiana Lugana 2020 DOC (BIO) 100% Turbiana from a 4 hectare property located in Desenzano at 80 meters. The exposure is southeast, the training system is guyot and the soil is clay. Grapes are hand- picked then a soft pressing and fermentation starts with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks on the lees for 4 months. This is a well balanced wine with hints of white flower, citrus fruit, and a touch of almond with nice minerality.
Capù ripieni di Carne in salsa al pomodoro
Tenuta Roveglia “Limne” 2020 100% Turbiana grapes from vines 25/35 years old grown spots of Lake Garda at 100 meters. The land is flat and the soil is a mix of mainly clay with some limestone and rich in mineral salts. Harvest is at the end of September by hand in small crates. Vinification without the skins, a soft pressing of the grapes with extraction of a maximum of 60% free run juice. Maturation is in stainless steel tanks for 4 to 5 months. The wine is sold after 2 to 3 months in bottle.
Colli Vaibò Lugana DOC 2019 made from 100% Turbiana. The training system is single bow. The must is obtained with a slow grade pressing of the whole grapes fermented at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks with selected yeasts. The wine is kept on the lees for about 4 months until it is ready to be blended and put on the market after it has been in bottle for one month. The wine has pear, peach and a touch of spice and floral notes good acidity.
Zeni Lugana DOC Vigne Alte 2019 made from 100% Trebbiano from the southern shore of Lake Garda. Hand selection of grape bunches that have reached optimum ripeness at harvest. Maceration is on the skins followed by a gentle pressing and must fermentation at a controlled temperature. Aging is in stainless steel vats. The wine has hints of citrus fruit, peach and pear.
Trota del Garda in Carpione
Seiterre Lugana Superior 2018 Lugana Superiore DOC made from 100% Turbiana di Lugana. The soil is clay and limestone. Grapes are harvested by hand 10 to 15 days after the usual harvesting period. Gentle pressing follows and fermentation is in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine is then aged in barrel or barriques. It has hints of citrus fruit, ripe apple and a touch of spice and a note of minerality.
Zenato Riserva 2016 made from 100% Trebbiano di Lugana from the oldest vineyards, the 13 hectare Podere Masson vineyard at 165 ft with a southeastern/southern exposure. The soil is clay-loam, and the training system is guyot. There are 1,440 plants per hectare planted in 1994. Fermentation takes place in barrels for 21 days. Malolactic fermentation does take place. The wine is aged in 54 HL barrels of French oak one year old for 8 months. The wine is in bottle for 12 months before release. Residual sugar 6.4 g/l. The wine has floral notes, with hints of stone fruit, a touch of vanilla and a drop of honey.
Tenuta Roveglia Lugana late harvest DOC Filo di Arianna (Ariadne’s thread) 2017 made from 100% Turbiana from vineyard south of Lake Garda at 100 Meters. The terrain is flat with clayey calcareous soil rich in mineral salts. The age of the vines is over 55 years. Harvest is the second week of November, a late harvest by hand in small crates. The wine is soft pressed with a maximum extraction of 50% of free run must. The wine is aged in 30 hl barrels. In January/February of the third year following the harvest the wine is marketed after about 6 months in bottle. Dry extract is 39g/l. The wine has hints of exotic fruit, pineapple, toasted almonds and minerality.
Cobue 31 October 2019 made from 100% Turbiana coming from vineyard Campo Lugana, the vines are 8 years old. The soil is calcareous and clayey and the training system is guyot. There are 4,500 grapes per hectare. Fermentation is in steel tanks. 70% of the wine is in steel for 12 months and 30% in barriques for 9 months and one year in bottle before release. This is a pure late harvest dessert wine, made from grapes picked when overripe on October 31st. It is produced only in years when it is possible. Residual sugar is 68 g/l.
La Torta del Paradiso