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Ca Dei Frati I Frati Lugana 2017 £19.95
CA DEI FRATI I FRATI LUGANA
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 160 hectares. This increase in quantity has been matched by an increase in quality and today they remain the best producer in Lugana.
The secret to the success of the Cà dei Frati wines is outstanding vineyards. Most producers in the zone overcrop and train the vines high. At Cà dei Frati, the vines are trained low, on single or double Guyot, newer vineyards have a higher density of planting, and yields are well below the average for the zone. This wine is made from grapes grown on 10 to 35 year old vines. In Lugana, the Turbiana grape is grown on the glacial soils just to the south of Lake Garda. The warmer days give wines with more weight and intensity than those from 60 kilometres to the east. The cool nights, thanks to the moderating influence of Lake Garda, ensures the grapes retain aroma and acidity.
The 2017 vintage was characterised by a cold winter with abundant rainfall. At the end of April, there was a period of frost. For this reason, blossom only began to appear towards the end of May, with an earlier start on the lower slopes. Sunny weather followed, but frost and drought meant this was a relatively challenging vintage in terms of quantity. Nevertheless, the grapes were healthy and of good quality.
The must was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and unoaked to maximise its fresh fruit character. The wine then remained on lees in tanks for six months before spending two months ageing in bottle.
Pale yellow in colour with a concentrated but fresh perfume of white flowers, peaches and ripe lemons. On the palate, it has excellent depth and balance, with lovely richness and a crisp, lively finish.