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- Trebbiano do Lugana
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Aromas of white spring flower, mature orchard fruit and a whiff of graphite float out of the glass. The fresh, concentrated palate doles out ripe white peach, mature Granny Smith and Bosc pear while mineral and almond notes back up the finish.
Lugana is made of a kind of Verdicchio, which is known near Lake Garda as Trebbiano di Lugana or Turbiana. There are very few producers of great Lugana, much of the wines being drunk by tourists, but it can be excellent, with flavours of almond, herbs, and apricot, vivid and distinctive. (Many Luganas are compromised by the obvious addition of residual sweetness, to balance the grape's natural acidity. I don't think this is a good idea and it's certainly not found in this delicious Lugana from the Marangona estate.)
The Lugana appellation is around the base of Lake Garda, one of the most beautiful places in Italy. The soils here in the heart of the appellation are calcareous clay, rich in minerals; the altitude is about that of the Lake itself, which is to say about 65 meters (200 feet) above sea level, despite which the wines show excellent fresh acidity (altitude normally confers acidity, as for example in the wines of Verdicchio di Matelica, but here there is a bright, zesty character even without it). Alessandro Cutolo is the young owner and winemaker at Marangona, a modest, friendly man whose clean but not intrusive style of winemaking is very much to my taste. I will be drinking a lot of this.
'Marangona' refers to the name of a bell that was rung to signify the end of the work day.
Pale straw colour; aroma of almonds, herbs, citrus and a touch of apricot; flavours completely consistent, with excellent acidity, fresh and long. I love this as an aperitif, or as a broadly useful table wine (roast chicken, fish...).