Donato Lanati, one of Italy's best consultants, began working with La Giustiniana at the beginning of 1998. His indelible stamp of quality has become increasingly evident in recent years. The changes brought in the winery by Lanati are now being matched with the improvements being made in the vineyard, where better grapes are giving purer, richer and better balanced wines. The entire estate covers 110 hectares in the heart of the commune of Rovereto in Gavi, of which 40 are under vine. Two single vineyard wines are produced, both of which are unoaked so the character of each vineyard shines through.
Lugarara is a single vineyard at around 300 metres above sea level. Soils are grey marl with loose, sandy topsoil. The vines are Guyot trained and planted at a density of 4,000 vines per hectare.
The 2017 vintage saw a dry winter and freezing temperatures in April. The rest of spring and summer were very dry. However, La Giustiniana's vineyards are mostly over 30 years old, so they have deep roots that allowed them to face the drought. They started harvest one week earlier than in 2016. Despite dry weather, which led to a 20% reduction in yield, the grapes were very healthy and rich in flavours and aromas.
The grapes were hand picked and gently pressed upon arrival at the winery. They then underwent a cool fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 16°C. Unoaked, the wine was bottled in the spring following the harvest.
Straw-yellow with a greenish hue, the wine's aromas of white fruit, stone fruit and lime zest are immediately beguiling and followed by a subtle yet persistent bouquet of green apples. The palate is well balanced with a fresh acidity and good structure, and almond notes on the finish.