Halfway between Milan and Venice is northern Italy’s stunning Lake Garda. With the northern half of its crystal clear waters nestled among mountains before opening to the southern valley, the lake experiences constant winds up and down its surface all day. Those winds warm and cool the lakeside vineyards of Garda DOC, Custoza DOC and, directly south of the lake, Lugana DOC.
Mostly in Lombardy, though a tiny slice does cross into Veneto, Lugana DOC is known for its Turbiana a k a Trebbiano di Lugana. Here the grape is made into medium-bodied still and sparkling white wines exhibiting notes of ripe citrus, tart apple, white stone fruit and almond. But you can also find more savory spice and saline qualities. Here are 10 bottles perfect for sipping lakeside.
Le Morette 2017 Madolara (Lugana); $20, 92 points. Elegant and savory, this lovely white opens with heady aromas of fragrant spring flower, Alpine herb, fennel and citrus. The delicious medium-bodied palate delivers ripe Rennet apple, creamy white peach and baking spice alongside bright acidity. It closes on a lemon-drop note. Uva Imports. Editors’ Choice.—Kerin O’Keefe
Monte del Frà 2017 Lugana; $25, 92 points. Fragrant spring blossom, white stone-fruit and citrus aromas mingle together on this elegant white. On the fresh savory palate, a white-almond note accompanies creamy yellow apple, nectarine and lemon zest. Vision Wine & Spirits. —K.O.
Tenuta Roveglia 2015 Vigne di Catullo Riserva (Lugana); $25, 92 points. Aromas of ripe orchard fruit, citrus, grilled herb and nuts delicately guide the nose. Round and delicious, the medium-bodied palate delivers baked yellow apple, creamy white peach, ginger and white almond alongside tangy acidity. A juicy note of candied lemon drop lingers on the close. John Given Wines. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.
Cà Lojera 2015 Lupo Riserva (Lugana); $29, 92 points. Acacia, mature citrus rind, honeydew melon and white stone-fruit aromas lead the way. The succulent savory palate doles out creamy white peach, yellow apple and juicy tangerine accompanied by fresh acidity. A white-almond note lingers on the finish. Moonlight Wine Company. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.
Ottella 2015 Molceo Riserva (Lugana); $30, 92 points. Elegantly structured, this offers delicate scents of spring wild flower, white stone fruit and grilled herb. The savory linear palate is all about finesse, offering white peach, yellow pear and lemon drop while a saline-like mineral note signals the finish. Vino Vero. —K.O.
Zenato 2015 Sergio Zenato Riserva (Lugana); $40, 91 points. Acacia, beeswax, crushed herb and yellow stone-fruit aromas align with a whiff of oak. The elegantly structured savory palate has apricot, tangerine zest, ginger and toasted nut. A hint of coffee lingers on the close. Leonardo LoCascio Selections–The Winebow Group. —K.O.
Marangona 2017 Lugana; $18, 90 points. Made with organically farmed Turbiana grapes, this delicious white opens with heady aromas of fragrant spring flower, ripe orchard fruit and a whiff of flint. Bright and linear, the palate delivers crisp Rennet apple, white peach and grapefruit alongside refreshing acidity. A white-almond note lingers on the close. Oliver McCrum Wines. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.
Selva Capuzza 2017 San Vigilio (Lugana); $23, 90 points. Delicate, enticing scents of white spring blossom, crushed herb and ripe orchard fruit take shape on this elegant white. On the savory linear palate, fresh acidity accompanies apple, white peach and tangy citrus while a hint of white almond wraps up the finish. World Wines at Home. —K.O.
Pratello 2017 Catulliano (Lugana); $17, 89 points. Aromas of grilled herb, grapefruit and crushed stone come together on this linear white, while the palate evokes pineapple and mature apple. A hint of saline backs up the finish. Natural Merchants, Inc. —K.O.
Ancilla 2017 Ella (Lugana); $20, 89 points. Honeysuckle and citrus aromas take center stage while the juicy rounded palate doles out honeydew melon, white peach and candied lemon drop. Tangy acidity brightens the rich flavors. Massanois Imports. —K.O.