Lugana wines: Worth their Salt

27 June, 2014

The set-up at Selva Capuzza – which also includes a truffle farm – is indicative of the way many of the wineries in the area operate, with a food offering to match their wines. And, again, the consorzio has worked hard to ensure consumers have a good understanding of which foods to pair with which wines, offering specific matches for each of the five tiers of Lugana wines.

While it suggests ideally pairing with the foods of the region itself, obviously not every market has access to freshwater fish dishes such as grilled eel or frog risotto. So the organisation breaks it down to a more global offering.

Of the five tiers, the ‘basic’ Lugana  is the driving force behind the appellation and its production range covers almost 90% of the DOC. Food pairings include seafood antipasti and boiled shrimp.

The Superiore wine was officially introduced in 1998, and in order to bear this label the wine must age or mature for at least one year after the grapes are harvested. 

The Lugana Riserva, introduced with the last revision of the production standards this year,  is said to be “the natural evolution of the Superior: it must age or mature for at least 24 months, six of which in a bottle, has brighter colours, more evolved and complex aromas with smoky notes and balsamic reflexes, warmer mineral notes on the palate but otherwise just as enveloping, luscious, and persistent”.

Both the above are said to be perfect partners for richer, more complex dishes, including white meat dishes, such as chicken, capon and rabbit, “especially roasted in the oven”.

Lugana Vendemmia Tardiva is made with “over-ripened” grapes that have been allowed to remain on the vine till the end of October-early November, instead of being harvested and then stored till suitably dry. It is generally paired with cheeses.

Lugana Spumante was introduced in 1975 and today is produced using both the Charmat or Martinotti method (autoclave refermentation) and the classic method (bottle refermentation). This is recommended to go with cold meats and egg-based dishes.

The producers of the Lugana DOC have a clear vision of how their wines can work in the many and varied consumption markets they have in their sights. And with wines so deeply entrenched in the history, climate and flavours of the region, their passion for their clearly-defined product is another selling point that should stand them in good stead in their quest to go global.





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