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2014 Garda Rosso Marzemino “Le Morene”

La Basia

2014 Garda Rosso Marzemino “Le Morene” La Basia - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Opera buffs may recognize Marzemino as Don Giovanni’s drink of choice in the great Mozart opera. It’s a very old varietal with roots in the Veneto, where, probably not coincidentally, Don Giovanni librettist Lorenzo da Ponte lived and worked. From there it spread to other nearby regions, including Lake Garda. You need not share the full range of the randy don’s appetites to enjoy this dark fruited red. A hankering for salumi, olives, and a hard sheep milk cheese will do.

Dustin Soiseth

Vintage: 2014
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Marzemino
Appellation: Valtènesi DOC
Country: Italy
Region: Lombardy
Producer: La Basia
Winemaker: Giacomo Tincani
Vineyard: Planted in 2001
Soil: Moraine, with sandy clay
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 12.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Lombardy

Italy’s most populous region and the home of its most influential wine critic, the late Luigi Veronelli of Milan, Lombardia holds its share of enological secrets. Dominated by the vast expanses of the Po Valley, the region encompasses Alpine peaks in the north, along the Swiss border, as well as Apennine foothills in its southwest where viticulture plays a major role.

The metodo classico sparklers of Franciacorta, plus Oltrepò Pavese’s still and sparkling wines, enjoy the most renown, yet Lombardia’s richness of different soils and microclimates mean there is much more for the curious palate. The Alpine Nebbiolos of Valtellina are certainly of note, while the region’s picturesque lakes (Maggiore, Como, and Garda, to name a few) provide a moderating effect on climate favorable to high-quality wine production.

The southern shores of Lake Garda in particular boast a number of interesting wine zones. Indigenous grapes like Groppello and Marzemino thrive in these soils of glacial deposit, creating unique reds (plus the ubiquitous Chiaretto rosé) from the Garda and Valtènesi DOCs. The wines of our first and only Lombardia producer, La Basia, are delicious representations of this middle ground between plains and mountains, and perfectly complement the region’s famous cheeses and other local specialties.

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Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

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