Ottella, “Le Creete” Lugana 2015 (about $22)

Italian Wine for july, 2018

Lugana is both the name of a geographic area and the name of the distinctive dry, white wine from that area. The Lugana DOC appellation lies on the southern edge of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, in north-central Italy and encompasses the area from the flat lakeshore plain to the low, rolling inland hills south of the lake. While the appellation lies principally within the Lombardia region it is an inter-regional DOC since a small portion of the DOC lies in the Veneto region.

Lugana was designated a DOC in 1967, Lombardia’s first DOC, and is today generally considered Lombardia’s most prestigious dry white wine appellation. The Lugana DOC is based on the Turbiana variety, an obscure white wine variety with a mysterious, lost-in-time lineage. While the regulations require a minimum of 90 percent Turbiana, in practice the majority of Lugana wines are made entirely of Turbiana.

Turbiana is an interesting variety in that it has the ability to maintain a high level of acidity over time which means that it can be fresh and energetic in its youth yet capable of ageing for some years. The variety’s structure and high extract also enables producers to use some resourceful winemaking techniques such as lees-ageing (i.e., prolonged contact between the wine and its lees/yeasts) and ageing partially or wholly in wood barrels.

The Ottella winery was founded in the late 19th century by the Montressor family near the town of Peschiera del Garda in the Veneto portion of the Lugana DOC. Today it has 62 acres under vine most on soil with a high clay content that characterizes most of the terrain at the southern end of Lake Garda. However, the winery also has a small vineyard parcel called Le Creete with white, chalky soil that imparts some interesting features to the vineyard’s grapes.

2015 "Le Creete" Lugana from the Ottella winery in VenetoOttella’s “Le Creete” Lugana is made entirely of Turbiana grapes harvested from the Le Creete vineyard parcel. The grapes are soft pressed in whole bunches and undergo a slow, cold fermentation in steel tanks after which the wine is aged on the lees for 8 months and then bottled for sale.

The 2015 “Le Creete” Lugana has a golden-yellow color with delicate white flower and yellow apple aromas. It is medium-to-full bodied with intriguing white peach, tropical fruit, apricot and lemon peel flavors suffused with complex textures. A strong vein of acidity along with some citrusy notes provide freshness and zest and give lift to the long finish.

This wine goes well with first courses of pasta or rice, simply-prepared chicken or fish dishes as well as seasoned cheeses. It’s also tough to beat simply sipping it by itself on a lazy summer day.


©Richard Marcis
July 8, 2018

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