Sunset off Menemsha, Martha’s Vineyard
Musical counterpoint of JS Bach
But, I am inspired to make an addition 😉
Attending an event at Eataly’s La Scuola Grande (NYC) celebrating the wines of Italy’s Lugana territory allowed me to taste broadly through a select group of the region’s wines. It was a great tasting experience in that I was able to better appreciate the finely etched detail and exquisite expression which Lugana’s wines have to offer.
I mean, yes, Lugana’s white wines from around Italy’s Lake Garda do sip well in summer. But, they offer so much more than good summer quaffing, expressing a certain beauty and charm composed of delicate, fine distinctions.
You will find it written that Lugana wines are produced with Trebbiano di Lugana, but the best practice, I think, is to know the varietal by its local name, Turbiana, as it is now generally becoming recognized uniquely by that name, distinct from other Trebbiano vines.
Located between Lombardia and Veneto, Italy’s Lugana wine region is a smallish area with a big terroir advantage. The rare, hard clay found in the Lake Garda area coupled with the mild, breezy micro-climate influences of the lake, create rather ideal conditions for Turbiana.
I do believe appellation regulations require Lugana wines be produced from at least 90% Turbiana, allowing for 10% other non-aromatic white varietal. The production fact of the matter, I understand, is that producers routinely opt to use 100% Turbiana.
Lugana wines are produced at five different levels, those being normale or basic, superiore, riserva, late harvest, and spumante. It’s a great model, actually, as the levels allow wine lovers to appreciate and enjoy the longevity of Turbiana – ah, yes, Turbiana can age well – up to 3-4 years for basic, 10 years for superior and riserva. While basic level wines will highlight energy and freshness, superior and riserva wines can reveal more structure, complexity, notes of herb, nut, wood, etc.
All in all, as a group, the Lugana wines I tasted were vibrant, many showing a distinctive minerality, subtlety salty in a way. Delicate, refined fragrances…fruity, floral, citrus, grace notes of herb and almond. Medium acidity that impressed with delicious crispness. Suppleness in the mouth, yet maintaining an elegant intensity on the palate.
Slam-dunk food pairings include freshwater fish, shell fish, grilled chicken / pork, cured meat, young cheeses, summer vegetables, risotto, appetizers, melon / prosciutto.
Coincidentally, during the month of July 2015 Eataly NYC is celebrating Lugana’s wines with a “Lugana: The Wine, The Land” theme, a wonderful idea! You can taste Lugana wines and learn about the territory without ever leaving the city 🙂
Event coordinated by Vigneto Communications.