Sunday, April 10, 2022

Lugana Wines Shine at Il Gattopardo

Lugana wines are produced in northern Italy from the indigenous Turbiana grape. More specifically, the vineyards are located on the southern reaches of Lake Garda, Italy's largest lake. The lake helps to regulate temperature in the vineyards and provides a steady breeze that assists with grape health. The mineral-rich soil and numerous old vine vineyards contribute to the wines' unique flavor profiles. At a recent media event at Manhatan's Il Gattopardo, Lugana wines paired beautifully with an array of northern Italian dishes. 

Our exploration of the region began with a flavorful sparkling wine, made in the traditional method,  Sguardi di Terra. Its golden color and persistent bubbles made for an inviting sparkling wine. 

For our first course of casconcelli, we sampled two whites from 2020 - the Citari Lugana Sorgente, which was aromatic with notes of pear and sage. The La Meridiana Lugana Organic was more floral in aroma with yellow plum flavors and salinity. 

With the second course of capu' ripiene di carne, we had the Tenuta Roveglia Limne, a wine of freshness, salinity and bright acidity. The Colli Vaibo Lugana 2019 had a more creamy texture with fresh acidity.  The third wine with this course was the Zeni Lugana Doc Vigne Alte 2019   - a delicious wine with riper notes of sweet green melon on the midpalate. 

With our third coruse of trota del Garda, we enjoyed the Seiterre Lugana Superiore 2018, a lean, focused wine with herbal notes of sage and chamomile as well as salinity and fresh acidity.  The meal ended with Zenato Riserva from 2016 - with six years of age, this wine was more golden in color, an aromatic, rich wine that felt reminiscient of young Burgundy. 

Throughout the luncheon, the strength of these northern Italian white wines clearly shone through. While every producer and every microterroir bring differences to each wine, they all are food friendly, fresh, and a welcome change from the workaday white wines that most consumers are more familiar with. 

As summer approaches and more seafood and lighter fare are served, Lugana wines make the perfect accompaniment to the fresher dining options of warm weather. 

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