Do you ever find that something just strikes you when you’re studying? Maybe a grape’s origin story, the history of a wine region, or maybe you just like the way a word sounds. It strikes you, and you are just able to memorize it for no other reason than you just fancy it. That’s me and Gavi di Gavi. Just seeing that phrase, hearing it, saying it out loud, it always brings a smile to my face.

Map by Jeff Quinn.
Map by Jeff Quinn.

Taste with me. Dance with me.

Is there anything special about Cortese? Not necessarily. According to our text she’s a high-yielding variety with light intensity and typical light-white-wine aromas and flavors. She’s thin-skinned, but Gavi takes care of her. Located inland, but in proximity to the sea, Gavi provides cooling from altitude as well as from marine breezes. This means Cortese can have a long growing season, maintain her acidity, her pale complexion, her delicate aromas and flavors. Sure, there are many “basic” examples produced, but there are producers who love Gavi and care for the Cortese grape, taking her through pre-fermentation maceration to enhance her complexity—some producing expressions that can even age in bottle; those making Riserva must age Cortese in any vessel for at least one year.

Cortese di Gavi DOCG is made from 100% Cortese. Wines made from within the municipality of Gavi itself are the wines bestowed the name Gavi di Gavi. And that just makes me happy. And so we taste. And we dance…


Villa Rosa Gavi di Gavi 2019

Appearance: pale lemon

Aroma: medium (+) intensity—green and yellow apple, lemon, yeast, bread dough, pastry, white blossom, white peach and nectarine

Palate: dry, high acid, medium alcohol, medium body (soft, smooth, round texture), medium (+) intensity—as above, adding a hint of pink grapefruit, and a hint of under-ripe apricot

Finish is medium

Conclusion: This is a very good wine that has a wonderful intensity of primary aromas that span the spectrum from citrus to pomme and even some stone fruits. Fruits are fresh, with the green and yellow apple presenting ripe, the peach, nectarine and apricot just under-ripe, and citrus notes adding a hint of bitterness as if from the skin or oils of those lemons and grapefruits. Secondary characteristics are present in the form of some yeast/dough/bread characteristics; they are well balanced, not as pronounced as the primary fruits and, thus, not overwhelming the vivacity of those primary fruit characteristics. The wine has a good weight and body and given the secondary characteristics, I assume the wine did see some time on the lees, but as these characteristics are not overtly pronounced, nor does the wine have any real ‘creaminess to it, I assume it saw very little stirring, if at all, during its time in contact with lees. However, the secondary characteristics do, for me, add some depth and complexity to the wine. While showing good balance, intensity, and complexity, the finish fell at a medium length. The palate is left with a tingle from the high acidity, a touch of bitterness of those citrus skins/oils, but the real spirit of the fruits fades quite quickly. While I did not necessarily find this unpleasant, I cannot deny the length of the finish stops at medium. And, thus, the wine cannot be marked as outstanding, but it is a very good wine.

Suitability for Aging: I do not think that this wine would benefit from any additional time in age. The joy of this wine is in the fresh fruitiness which, I fear (given the length of the finish at medium) will only fade with time and one will be left with that acid and bitterness without the true vivacity of the primary characteristics. This wine is a good example of what it was intended for—a fresh, fruity wine intended for early consumption.

Perfect Music Pairing

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