Gavi is one of the many Italian whites that seems doomed (for reasons I don’t understand) to live in the shadow of Pinot Grigio. Probably less so for the well educated wine drinker, but certainly for the casual, “I’ll just pluck something familiar from the shelf” wine drinker.
So what is it? I’ll begin, in Wineontrial’s time-honoured manner, with a few quick facts.
Gavi is the name of the town. It’s in the region of Piedmont in the North-West of Italy, and the wines are made from a local grape variety known as ‘Cortese’ (roughly pronounced ‘cor-tay-zay’). Gavi and the local seafood are to the people of Piedmont what lager and curry are to the British. But besides competition from the Pinot Grigio wine lake, Gavi also has to cry for attention internationally alongside the legendary red wines of nearby Barolo. Tough break.
Labelling any wine with a price tag of just £5.29 ‘exquisite’ is a bold move at best, and at worst a move that lacks any credibility. It’s the quality of the wine that will decide which it is.
So I’m delighted to say that it’s really rather good. Your nose and palate are caressed with waves of lemon flavours. It’s not a particularly acidic wine and there’s little resemblance to fresh lemons, which some might say is a good thing anyway. Instead, you’re kept guessing between preserved lemon, lemon meringue, tarte au citron…
That’s enjoyable enough, but there’s even more to muse over. There’s lots of ‘minerality’ and just a slight, subtle touch of nuttiness on the finish, very subtle mind. Would you want that to be any stronger though?
This is probably the best Italian white I’ve ever sampled. And that strikes me as a pretty sensational accolade for such a keenly priced wine. Hats off (and glasses raised) to Aldi!