Country: Italy Region: Veneto Varietal: Corvina and blends
Vintage: 2015 Category: Red Wine Colour: Red
Producer: Cà dei Frati
"The Dal Cero family has transformed their Ca' dei Frati property, situated on the southern shores of Lake Garda, into a model Italian estate over the past two decades. Back in 1987, they had 12 hectares of vineyard but now, following the purchase of a large chunk of prime vineyard in 2008, they have over 140 hectares. This increase in quantity has been matched by an increase in quality, and today they remain the best producer in Lugana.
The quality of the wines is attributable directly to Igino Dal Cero's obsession with detail. All their fruit is picked by hand; he ensures there is no skin contact as he wants to retain delicate perfumes and enhance the supple texture; he has changed his mind on malolactic fermentation and now inhibits it in order to give the wine the lift he feels it benefits from; and he is now convinced that ageing on lees from end of fermentation gives him greater richness on the palate and the wonderful flintiness on nose that makes this wine so Burgundian in character.
The 2015 Lugana is lively and scented, and continues to offer superb value. Made solely from the Turbiana variety (related to Verdicchio, it was formerly known as Trebbiano di Lugana and then Lugana), the wine has depth and zip that few from this area demonstrate. Their single vineyard Lugana, the 2014 'Brolettino', is barrel fermented and aged for 10 months. The oak is nicely integrated with the fruit to give a wonderful texture and complexity to the wine. 'Pratto', a blend of 50% Turbiana, 25% Chardonnay (both of which are barrel fermented) and 25% Sauvignon Blanc (fermented in tank), has an exotic passion fruit character while maintaining the characteristic freshness of the Ca' dei Frati wines.
The 'Ronchedone' is a blend of 45% Sangiovese, 45% Marzemino and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Like the whites, it is ripe yet elegant. Their 'Rosa dei Frati', pale pink in colour, dry and scented, is a stunner. A blend of 60% Groppello, 15% Marzemino, 15% Sangiovese and 10% Barbera, there is no better wine to bring to mind summer on the shores of Lake Garda."
Winemaker: Igino Dal Cero
The grapes are grown in the Luxinum vineyard in Pian di Castagnè, above the village of Marcellise which is situated between the communes of Mezzane and San Martino Buon'Albergo. This is the highest point of the Marcellise valley. The vineyard is located on the eroded ridge that climbs towards San Rocco di Piegara. The unique microclimate gives the ideal growing conditions for the black grape varieties of the Valpolicella. The compact soil approximately 20-30 metres from the surface shows layers of white clay and chips, which retain moisture and provide a source of water for the vines during periods of severe drought. The vines are planted using the Guyot training system and yields are seven tonnes per hectare.
The grapes were left to dry in crates for four months before maceration in steel tanks with prolonged contact with the skins. The wine then underwent malolactic fermentation and was left to mature in barriques for 24 months, followed by 12 months in steel vats and a further 24 months in the bottle.
This wine is a deep ruby red colour with black cherries, chocolate and sweet spices on the nose. As the wine breathes, balsamic notes emerge to reveal aniseed and wild mint aromas. This wine has great body and acidity, remarkable mineral elegance and prominent yet supple tannins. The finish is long and rounded with delicate hints of coffee and sweet tobacco.
This wine matches perfectly with mature cheeses, stewed meats, braised beef and game.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV: 17% Classification: DOC