Italian Indigenous Varieties: Moscato di Scanzo DOCG from Lombardy

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I know that I am not going in order with this post but I thought I would use the occasion of a NYC-based event today on Bergamo to mention this wine. I first heard of it years ago on a trip to Vinitaly. I always start my Vinitaly days in the Lombardy pavilion and one day happened upon this wine when I was saying hello to friends at the Cantina Bergamasca.  

The city of Bergamo has been a favorite of mine since I first visited it in 1998. I wrote a long post about the city some years ago that you can read here.

Today’s post though is about Moscato di Scanzo, a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.) wine from Lombardy. I tasted two today that really tickled my fancy, spicy with hints of sweetness they were the perfect foil for cheese with herbs.

There is a Consortium of wine producers from this region that was created in 1993, following on the heels of a previous association of producers that was created in the 1970s. The wine got its D.O.C.G. status in April 2009. The wine is made from a very ancient grape variety, a red Moscato which appears to have its origins around the year 1000 ad. According to the Consortium’s website, Julius Caesar had a military command post in the area of Scanzo and Moscato di Scanzo was the first Italian wine to be listed on the London exchange. Apparently, the British Royal Family still has a link to one of the producers of this interesting wine.

The wine is made using late harvest techniques. The grapes are picked in October and are then left to raisin for 20-50 days on wooden crates in a temperature controlled environment.  After pressing, the wine is put into tanks and then bottled only after two years of aging.

The wine is deep, ruby red in color with delicious notes of cherries “sotto spirito/marinated with alcohol”and spice. I thought it was a very sexy wine and unique. I am partial to sweet wines but this wasn’t over the top and I liked that too. One of the wines I tried today was from Azienda Agricola FejoiaThis was also the first Moscato di Scanzo that I tried years ago at Vinitaly. It certainly won’t be the last.

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