The 2016 vintage (not yet on UK release, alas) was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition regional profile of Lugana (in Veneto) (see blue link below)
Ca Dei Frati Lugana Brolettino 2015 - Sept 2018 Decanter review
The Dal Cero family has transformed their Cà 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 Ca' dei Frati wines is the outstanding vineyards. Most producers in the zone crop at high levels and train the vines high. At Ca' dei Frati, the vines are trained low, newer vineyards have a higher density of planting and yields are well below the average for the area. All grapes are grown in Ca' dei Frati's own vineyards, which are located on the south banks of Lake Garda, near the town of Sirmione. The vines from which 'Brolettino' is made were planted in 1971, with clay soils. The training system is single and double Guyot and the yield is eight tonnes per hectare.
The very wet winter of 2015 enabled vines to access considerable deep-seated water reserves during the spring, facilitating budding and flowering which lasted until the beginning of June. The particularly favourable climate during the summer ensured that all subsequent phenological stages, from fruit set to maturity, developed evenly. The hot temperatures in July were mitigated by some timely thunderstorms, while a sunny and quite breezy August allowed the grapes to reach a perfect phenolic ripeness. Harvest throughout September and the first week of October was facilitated by numerous sunny days, interspersed with sporadic rainfall. 2015 promises to be a memorable vintage with wines exhibiting balance, great structure and intense aromas.
Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks before being transferred to small 225 litre barriques for 10 months. Malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place in a selected number of barrels. The wine then aged in bottle for three months before release.
Pale golden in colour, this wine opens with aromas of stone fruits and a touch of vanilla spice from the oak ageing. The palate has rich peach characters, with a creamy, honeyed texture lifted by stony minerality. Intense and concentrated through to the fresh finish.