Croci Tenuta Vitivinicola Lubigo
Regular price $25.00
Winemaker: Missimiliano Croci
Appellation: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Grape Varieties: Ortugo
Lubigo means "landslide" in local dialect and is the name of the estate parcel in this wine. 100 percent Ortugo with around a week maceration on the skins in concrete tanks. Bottled with 12-16 grams of remaining sugar. Natural refermentation in bottle. No fining, no filtration and not disgorged.
Massimiliano Croci's wines have been familiar to us for many years. We've always made a point to taste with him at various wine fairs and have sat down together for many meals, often with his close friend Elena Pantaleoni of La Stoppa. When the opportunity to work together came about, we were quite excited.
Milk was the farm’s main production until 1970. At that time, competing with bigger, more modern institutions became too difficult for Massi’s father. So he pivoted exclusively to wine, starting with bulk sales in demijohns before eventually bottling and selling locally. While initially successful, in the 1980’s his rustic wines were scoffed at as a wave of “clean” industrial wines swept Emilia. Charmat and heavy filtration became the norm, with cloudiness/sediment in the bottle to be avoided at all costs.
Massimiliano took over the vineyards and winemaking in 1999, where he quickly dropped the charmat method eventually adopted by his father. He took inspiration from his grandfather’s wines from the 1930’s, which would always be bottled with sugars so they could referment in bottle. Filtration was dropped as well:
“Without filtration and charmat, you taste the land. With it the wines could be from anywhere.”
Distinct terroir is at play here. The Croci vines are planted on a formation of fossilized seabed, sandy and full of limestone fossils. This is the chief reason, we feel, the wines are so distinctive in their minerality, structure and fruit. Their 8.5 hectares of vineyards are worked with short pruning, only manual weeding and minimally treated with bordeaux mix; the grapes are hand-harvested and all the wines are naturally fermented first as wines and then naturally refermented in bottle as frizzante wines.