The Lugana DOC region lies on the southern side of the hyper-picturesque Lake Garda. Lugana is home to the Turbiana grape, which is a relative of Verdicchio and Trebbiano di Soave. Turbiana is getting some well-earned time in the limelight today, demanded by sommeliers and consumers alike. Considered one of Italy’s gewurztraminers that has aging potential, Turbiana reflects the area where it is grown.
Lugana’s moderate climate, affected by Italy’s biggest lake, is the ideal place for this up-and-coming white grape. The consistent breezes keep vineyard rows well aerated while the lake itself uses warmth to the fruit and its resulting white wines. There’s very little drama here in terms of weather condition– unlike other areas in Northern Italy where severe weather is more common– which fits Turbiana just fine. But don’t for an instant think that mellow conditions lead to mellow white wines.
In the glass, Lugana is a pleasant mix of skill and vitality. There’s a tidy balance of sweetness and acidic punch, with aromatics so explosive you can practically see and hear them. It can advise a few of a well-crafted Verdicchio and even a Fiano from the south of Italy, however again, Lugana uses its independent spirit on its sleeve. The wine can conjure up aspects of other varietals however, as a whole animal, is actually only like itself. Lugana is, well, Lugana and that’s an advantage.
The northern Italians have called much for generations, sipping it along with freshwater fish like pike in veggie sauce or with a healthy part of fresh ricotta. And while conditions above ground in this Italian region are normally calm, the scenario below ground is really various. In Lugana, densely compact clay soils check the vines, asking that they dig deep for nutrition and added intricacy. The rows tend to mature more slowly but it’s always worth the wait, with the year’s yield offering a signature mix of flinty goodness and utter beauty. Couple of red wine regions better emphasize the viticultural tagline, “The correct amount of stress yields finesse.”
Weird to believe that this land of plenty was practically unwelcoming long ago, curtained in thick marshes and forests. Today, it’s a verdant plain ignoring an impossibly blue lake, flanked by remarkable mountain peaks. That plain and the surrounding morainic foothills are where Turbiana and the Lugana wines prosper, perfectly pleased to enjoy the views, take in the freshness of the air, and bask in the calcareous soils. One see and you’ll wish to be deeply rooted here too.
Among the lots of merits of Lugana, and the higher-end or Riserva wines particularly, is the texture. Extended skin contact and client aging strategies produce white wines of incomparable weight and depth. One usually anticipates this type of nuanced information and ability to cellar from a tannic red. Sure, it’s simple to associate Italy with the instant delight a fellow white wine like Pinot Grigio brings to the table. Yet, with Lugana, the experience is various. This is an enduring affair, with impressive structure and an enduring impression. You can enjoy it year-round, combining it with a number of meals or merely by itself.
Like an excellent Riesling, Lugana can be aged to excellence, typically for a minimum of a years (another quality we like to connect to red white wines). Lugana Superiore, for example, is aged a minimum of one year after it has been collected. Golden in color, Superiore is an action up in intricacy and concentration and results in a deep taste buds with notes of wild herbs joined citrus fruits and ripe apples. It typically has a higher minimum alcohol content and can be more developed in wood, adding a tip of toasted spice to its special taste.
In total, there are five different designs of Lugana permitted: standard Lugana, Superiore, Riserva, Vendemmia Tardiva, which is a late-harvest or a sweet wine style, and a Spumante or gleaming variation.
Whichever instructions you head, the Turbiana grape will play the leading part, impressing you with its vibrant efficiency. If you do not already have an appreciation for character-driven gewurztraminer, you soon will. And if you already do (Cin Cin!), here’s another showstopper to contribute to your list.
Here’s a convenient breakdown of 2 popular Lugana wine styles:
This post is sponsored by Lugana DOC.