The ”unhidden gem” of Italy: Lugana DOC (3)

By Rita Tóth, for wine-chronicles.com 

(This three-part blog also has appeared in Jens De Maere’s Belgian Wino blog with full permission of the author)

METODO CLASSICO SPARKLING WINES OF LUGANA DOC

After having tasted some lovely wines in part one and part two of this blog, what really impressed me during our trip was the quality of classic method sparkling wines, especially from wineries detailed below.

The style is different from the ‘Champagne style’, as even the longest ageing on lees (60 months for Ca’Maiol) shows hardly any toastiness or yeastiness, but rather amazingly fresh floral and fruity notes, reminiscent of yellow apple, pear and blossom combined with a hint of minerality. This difference could be explained by the grape variety, which has high and enduring natural acidity, its aromatic profile and that the best producers do not use reserve wine for blending. ‘Millesimato’ means ‘vintage’ and in most cases contains wine 100% from the given year.

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The ”unhidden gem” of Italy: Lugana DOC (2)

By Rita Tóth, for wine-chronicles.com 

(This three-part blog also has appeared in Jens De Maere’s Belgian Wino blog with full permission of the author)

Part 1 was a short overview of the Lugana region, but now we examine the surprising aging potential of some of its best wines.

AGEING POTENTIAL

Although 90% of the regions’ production is the ’basic Lugana’ style – as Italian consumers tend to drink the wine within one year – the average aging potential of the best Lugana wines ranges between 10-15 years, based on my tasting experiences.

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They show their best at this age, although I encountered others that could age longer, due to the high tartaric acid and dry extract content of the grape variety itself. The mineral quality of the wines develops by aging. The early stages are about fruit and freshness, but – trust me – it’s worth waiting a bit more.

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The “unhidden gem” of Italy: Lugana DOC (1)

By Rita Tóth, for wine-chronicles.com 

(This three-part blog also has appeared in Jens De Maere’s Belgian Wino blog with full permission of the author)

Even though more than 70% of Lugana DOC wines are exported – mainly to Germany, USA, Belgium, Northern Europe, China, Japan and UK – many people may have never heard of this fine Italian wine region because it is a small appellation in the southern part of Lake Garda in Northern Italy. A gem of a location, divided between the provinces of Veneto and Lombardy.

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During a 4-day trip organized and fully paid by Consorzio Tutela Lugana and Fermenti Digitali, our group of #winelovers managed to taste wines from over 25 producers which gave us thorough insight into this 1,200 ha large region which actually packs in some 120 or so producers.

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Thierry Brouin of Clos des Lambrays

For the past 35 years, Thierry Brouin, 66, has been winemaking director at Domaine des Lambrays in Morey St Denis. Formerly a consultant for the national French appellation authority INAO (1975-1980) and an oenologist by training, Brouin is widely recognized as having revived the fortunes of the estate – which is mainly known for its production of the grand cru Clos des Lambrays. He will stay on as director following the purchase of the domain for about €100m this past April by the French luxury group LVMH.

Look out for my feature article in Decanter on Clos des Lambrays.

question-and-answer profile with Mr. Brouin has now been published in Wine-Searcher.com.

Exclusive to wine-chronicles: his opinions on natural wine, on climate change and other interesting stuff :-).

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Yellow Tail: Was expecting horror, got boredom instead

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com 

Ripe plum aromas and “bold smooth and easy on the palate”, according to the website.

Certainly “easy” is apt: Easily one of the most boring wines I have had – my first ever taste of a Yellow Tail, in this case the Merlot 2013.

After having enjoyed some truly exceptional wines from Australia, last year during a special dinner in Germany, this was an evident pass although I can understand its being popular: cheap – about 4.50 euros – and quaffable for the uncritical.

Now I did compare it with a wine that is three times as expensive – and the latter wine was far more interesting the Lenz Moser Klosterkeller Siegendorf 2011 from Burgenland, Austria, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

 

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