I met Ambra Tiraboschi many years ago at Vinexpo, in Bordeaux: It was the end of a very long day, and when I asked who was behind the pleasant sparkling wine I had been handed she raised her hand. The next day I made a point of stopping by her stand, discovering Lugana in the process, and since then have made a point of stopping to say hello at some point during Vinitaly.
For many years we tasted the Chardonnay she had brought to Bordeaux, which aged very well and kept getting better, and while it is by now a memory every year she brings at least one older bottle, and they are invariably eye opening.
Cà Lojera Lugana DOC 2012
Pale brassy gold with brilliant brassy reflections. The bouquet is rich, with bright loquat and some pineapple – there’s more tropical fruit than in some vintages – and also slight hints of gooseberry. On the palate it’s ample and languid, with fairly rich loquat fruit supported by lively acidity that settles into greenish flinty minerality that carries into a fresh flinty finish with peppery accents. Pleasant, and will work very well with both fish and white meats; you will want a second bottle.
Cà Lojera Lugana Superiore DOC 2010
This spends 18 months in tonneaux. It’s brassy white with brilliant brassy reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some minerality and butterscotch supported by mineral acidity; the effect is somewhat austere. On the palate it’s ample and languid, with considerable minerality more than fruit supported by some bitter accents, and flows into a rather languid mineral finish. It’s graceful in a more mineral than fruit driven key, and if you like the style you will enjoy it. I found myself preferring the basic Lugana, but this is personal preference.
Cà Lojera Lugana Riserva del Lupo DOC 2010
Brassy yellow with brilliant brassy reflections and slight greenish highlights. The bouquet is muted at first swish, opening to reveal minerality and spice coupled with white blossoms and hints of lemon and heather. On the palate it’s ample, and bright, with fairly rich lemony fruit supported by slight flinty tannins and warm lemony acidity that flows into a clean citric finish. Pleasant in a graceful languid key and will drink well with grilled fish or white meats.
Cà Lojera Lugana Riserva del Lupo DOC 2003
Lot 07 05
This is from one of the hottest vintages in recent memory; it’s brilliant brassy gold with greenish gold reflections and white rim. The bouquet is elegant, with a certain pungency and spice mingled with tropical fruit and flowers, and also greenish flinty vegetal accents. Very much a moving target. On the palate it’s ample and quite mineral with warm slightly sour delicate lemony fruit and a slight flinty underpinning coupled with minerality that flows into a clean slightly bitter mineral finish. Quite pleasant with a lot to say, and is a wine that one can enjoy a long conversation with. I hated to pour it out.
Cà Lojera Chardonnay Monte della Guardia 2011
Some of the vines that yield this wine are more than 40 years old. Brassy yellow with brilliant greenish brassy reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with white blossoms mingled with some butterscotch and a certain coolness that refreshes On the palate it’s ample and languid, with fairly rich loquat laced fruit supported by slightly flinty loquat mineral acidity and greenish flinty tannins with a degree of bitterness that flow into a clean fresh mineral finish with flinty undertones. Elegant, in a relaxed key, and will work well as an aperitif or with the meal.
Cà Lojera Belle Metodo Classico Dosaggio Zero 2008
This is something new; it’s brassy yellow with fine perlage that settles fairly quickly, and continues to rise to the center of the glass. The bouquet is elegant, with loquat and wet bread crumbs mingled with some savory notes and slight green apricot acidity. On the palate it’s ample and creamy, with loquat citrus fruit supported by peppery sparkle that also confers creaminess, while the acidity is mineral and bracing, and flows into a clean bright mineral finish. Quite pleasant and will work very well as an aperitif or with the meal.
Cà Lojera Rosato Monte della Guardia DOC 2012
This is a 50-50 Cabernet-Merlot blend; it’s pale orange with brilliant orange reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fresh, with roses mingled with pomegranate and some raspberry, supported by nutmeg and some raspberry-strawberry acidity. On the palate it’s pleasantly fruity, with black currant fruit and slight blackberry supported by moderate acidity and by slight tannins that flow into a clean fresh berry fruit finish. Pleasant in a slightly more languid than usual key – 2012 was very hot, and knocked down the acidity somewhat, while producing riper fruit – and will be a nice summer wine.
Cà Lojera Merlot Monte della Guardia DOC 2009
Brick ruby with black highlights and lively slightly orange ruby reflections. Not too charged. The bouquet is fairly intense, and fairly acidic, with sour berry fruit laced with vegetal accents and brambly accents. On the palate it’s medium bodied and quite smooth, with sour cherry fruit supported by greenish spicy acidity and by tannins that are quite smooth, albeit with a slight burr that flows into a rather peppery fruit laced finish. Pleasant in what feels like a cool weather key; it’s not tremendously ripe, with fairly bright acidity and fruit that is more red berry than really ripe currant. It will drink nicely with red meats.