Moscato di Scanzo,a legendary Italian sweet red wine

Oct 08, 10 Moscato di Scanzo,a legendary Italian sweet red wine

Posted by in Italy

A nice way to end a meal is with a sweet wine and what better way to end Italian week here at Winesleuth then with a bit of Moscato. Not any moscato mind, but Moscato di Scanzo, a red sweet wine that comes from the hills of Bergamo. The Moscato  di Scanzo was recently given it’s own DOCG (in 2002) and is the first DOCG of Bergamo and only the fifth in all of Lombardy. An ancient wine, Moscato di Scanzo was first noted in the 14th century and it can be traced back to 1000 B.C. The centre of moscato di scanzo is the town of Scanzorosicate, try saying that after a couple of glasses of moscato. There are only 22 winemakers and 32 hectares of moscato split between them all. Small production it is. In order to produce the wine, the grapes go through a passito process where they are air dried until they lose 70% of their volume, leaving only 30%  of juice at the end. Indeed, for every hectolitre of wine, 400 hours of work goes into it and each hectare produces about 40 hectalitres. The consorzio only makes 60,000 bottles annually so we felt quite privileged to be invited to the annual Moscato festival that the village holds every year.         The president of the consorzio and professional pilot when he’s not tending grapes is, Giacomo de Tomo, our host for the evening. A movie star handsome fellow complete with sporty race car and the elegant manners of an aristocrat, which I’m sure he was as we got a brief glimpse of the family pile on our way to the festival. We had the chance to chat with some of the producers at a small dinner beforehand and although they have a very small production, the winemakers were adamant in wanting to push their red moscato onto the international stage and elucidating the consumer to the fact that there is no other wine like moscato di...

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Cruase – Italian sparkling rose, yes, I said rose, wine

It’s Italian week here on the Winesleuth. Yes, more stories and wine finds from my recent trip through Lombardy in Northern Italy. I like rosés and like sparkling rosés even more. Italy’s not really known for their rosés, let alone sparkling rosés but that’s all about to change thanks to the Oltrepò Pavese consortium. Oltrepò Pavese is located in the region of Pavia, Lombardy on the 45th parallel, the same as the region of Burgundy and like Burgundy, the region has historically grown pinot noir or pinot nero, as they call it in Italy. The Consortio Tutela Vini Oltrepò Pavese has taken as it’s mission to produce naturally sparkling rosé wines from the region and launch them onto the world. Cruasé is their sparkling rose, the name being a hybrid of the words cru and rosé. In an interesting twist, while researching the history of the region, it was discovered that in the 17th century, cruà was the name given to vines and the wines that were produced in the region. Cruasé is made in the  traditional method and have a minimum of 85% pinot nero with the remainder being made up of the local varieties. It’s a DOCG wine which means that there is are strict rules and regulations regarding the production of the wine before it can be labeled and  sold as Cruasé. I was quite delighted to be offered a glass of sparkling rosé as soon as I arrived at the restaurant, straight off the plane. We tried Cruasés from various producers and I found most of them to be clean and fresh but not terribly exciting. The reservas, however, now there was something to get excited about. Aged 24 months on the lees, these were the ones that I liked best but you know, I always go for the oldies. The wine was showing very nicely, candied red fruits on the nose and palate with that familiar aroma of a bakery on a early Saturday morning hovering above the glass....

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dal Pescatore with the wines of Lugana DOC, Italy

Driving through the Italian countryside I was beginning to feel a bit peckish. I mean I hadn’t eaten in, like, the last 15 minutes so I was due for some lunch. Such was our timetable on my recent press jaunt to region of Lombardia in Italy with Gambero Rosso. I’m not complaining at all, it was a fantastic trip, we sampled some excellent cuisine and discovered (well, I did anyway) a new and exciting wine producing region, but it was a lot to take in in 5 days. One of the highlights was lunch at dal Pescatore paired with the wines of Lugana DOC, one of the lesser known appellations but one that should not be overlooked. It’s amazing the variety and quality of wines that are made in Italy. It’s a country with over a thousand different wine varieties so it’s no wonder I had never really come across the wines of Lugana. Situated quite close to the southern shores of Lake Garda, the area specializes in producing white wine made from the Turbiana  or Trebbiano di Lugana grape, as it is known there. The soils are mostly clay and produces wines that are dry and delicate but also quite lively, aromatic and well balanced. There are two types of wine that come for the region. Lugana DOC anad Lugana Superiore DOC. The Superiore is made from selected grapes and is aged for a year in oak. This makes it a much fuller wine then the Lugana DOC with more structure and spicer, riper fruit flavours and aromas. By law, producers can use up to 10% of grapes from other regions but they cannot be aromatic varietals. We were literally in the middle of nowhere, heading to dal Pescatore, a legendary restaurant of Mantua to sample their wares matched with the wines of Lugana. You definitely have to know how to get to dal Pescatore as it’s situated in a nature reserve, the Oglio Sud park, on a country road in a village...

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