A caress received from a gentle hand, gloved in a silk glove.
This is the impression I got while participating in the tasting of 8 Lugana DOCs that the sommelier Chiara Giovoni led at the first edition of Wine in Venice on January 30th.
The caress because of the rich softness that was found in all the wines, the silk glove because of the equally shared freshness that supported them.
Softness and freshness obviously more or less marked according to the age of the wines, the position of the vineyards and, too often underestimated, the “hand” of the producer.
Then there was another sensation, more organoleptic if you like, which accompanied me in all the wines both in terms of aromas and flavours: a note of concord grape / wild strawberry / ripe mandarin which I found at the base of every taste ( I have listed the descriptors that have been used to identify it, they seem different, but if you think about it, they relate to the same aroma).
Also in this case the intensity varied from wine to wine and at first I believed that it essentially depended on the position of the vineyards.
In fact, Lugana DOC is produced in 5 municipalities south of Garda Lake (1 in the province of Verona and 4 in the province of Brescia) with a territory that starts from the shores of the lake and climbs up to the morainic hills, a soil everybody has an idea about, maybe because “Morainic hills” is one of those things that we all remember from school days.
Nevertheless chatting with a producer after the tasting, he told me that the note of wild strawberry is inherent in the Turbiana grape from which Lugana DOC is produced. Of course is found more or less evident in the wines depending on the position of the vineyard and, again, the “hand” of the wine maker.
At the end of the day one goes always back to the never fully defined concept of terroir as something created by the integration of soil, climate and human practices.
In summary, the Lugana DOC wines share a tannic support reminiscent of those of red grapes vinified in white.
Being a DOC it is normal, I would say almost a duty, that there are aspects in common but it is equally natural that the cellars and wines express their individuality.
So let’s see the wines for tasting.
Marangona, Lugana DOC 2021 organic.
The nose feels rich and wide, balsamic aromas (laurel, mint, sage), citrus, slightly almond, on the bottom remains the wild strawberry.
On the palate there is a nice sapidity is noted and the olfactory sensations are rediscovered.
What I liked the most was the balance between softness and freshness.
Olivini family, Lugana DOC 2021.
The nose feels more tight and taut, the floral aromas of orange blossom and jasmine prevail over the citrus ones. At the bottom I smelled a slight smoked scent and, believe it or not, a hint of truffle.
The freshness given by the acidity immediately stands out on the palate, which softens along the sip (part of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation). The hints are more citrus and, slightly, of red fruits.
What I liked the most was the length of the sensations it leaves in the mouth.
Zamichele, Lugana DOC 2021
The floral aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle prevail on the nose, on a base of wild strawberries and very light smoke.
On the palate it feels light with notes of tropical fruits (pineapple) and sweet citrus fruits (more orange than grapefruit). Slightly almondy on the finish
What I liked the most was the freshness, I would almost say sweetness.
Montonale, “Orestilla”, Lugana DOC 2020
On the nose there are aromas of mandarin, pineapple, light peach and sensations of flint.
On the palate the mandarin and above all the yellow peach perceived earlier are even more evident and sapid and mineral notes are added.
What I liked the most was the length, breadth and depth it expresses on the palate.
Colli VaiBò, “Gemma”, Lugana DOC Riserva 2020
On the nose we find ripe orange, exotic fruit, a slight saffron.
On the palate the first sensation is of freshness and ripe apple followed by citrus and savory/mineral notes.
What I liked the most was the precision and length of the aromatic sensations.
Feliciana, “Sergè”, Lugana DOC Riserva 2019
The nose is followed by the aromas of mandarin, spices and wild strawberry on the bottom.
On the palate we find the citrus fruits, which veer more towards bitter orange and grapefruit, and the flavor of the spices.
What I liked the most was the body and the feeling of fullness it leaves after the sip.
Le Morette, Lugana DOC Reserve 2019
On the nose, jasmine and acacia are first noticed, then light tropical aromas.
On the palate the olfactory sensations become more intense with acacia honey, citrus fruits (candied lemon), mango and passion fruit. The basic sapidity and freshness bring balance and length to the sip.
What I liked the most was breadth and balance of the sensations which continuously follow one another.
Corte Sermana, “Sermana”, Lugana DOC Riserva 2017
On the nose you immediately notice the aromas of hay followed by honeysuckle, marjoram, pepper, and candied fruit.
On the palate we find the wide complexity perceived on the nose, accompanied by a great freshness and great sapidity.
What I liked the most was the liveness of the aromatic complexity, surprising in a white wine that is more than 5 years old.
Eventually let me make a consideration and give an advice.
The consideration is that I hope that the proposal of aged white wines will spread. This tasting demonstrated once again how many Italian denominations are capable of producing white wines which over time develop extremely interesting and not at all “tired” sensory profiles.
In my opinion, the limit to the consumption of these wines today lies first of all in the fear, or juts laziness, of not offering them, rather than in the attitude of consumers. I am convinced many people would be curious and happy to discover them. The advice instead is to also try the Lugana DOC spumante. They weren’t present in the guided tasting, so I concentrated on these in the later walk around free tastings of the producers present and I assure you that they are absolutely worth it.