Trainee Manager Ruari from our new store Majestic Livingston talks about one of his favourite wines…
These days if you mention Italian white wine chances are your first thoughts will be Pinot Grigio. One of the first white wines from Italy to really gain an international following though was Cortese di Gavi usually known simply as Gavi. It shares many of the same qualities that make Pinot Grigio so popular, paired with a firm, ripe and steely dry character that makes it reminiscent of fine Chablis, so much so that it has earned the moniker ‘Chablis of Italy’.
Gavi takes its name from the titular village, nestled in Piedmont, north-western Italy. Made from the local Cortese grape variety, it will often be named for the commune within the Gavi zone. ‘Gavi di Gavi’ is one of the most sought-after coming from the vines immediately around the village of Gavi.
Good Gavi such as this example from La Toledana displays aromatic mineral notes and a bright citrus finish. The grapes for this particular wine are carefully selected and picked later in the harvest, which adds concentration and richer flavour characteristics. In addition to trademark citrus freshness, ripe peach, pear and honeyed flavours are present, underpinned by steely minerality and a fresh, vibrant acidity.
Gavi benefits from a maritime climate and it is no coincidence that this wine will pair well with fresh and delicate seafood such as grilled scallops. It’s fresh, light yet rich character also means that it’s delightful on its own.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Gavi, and even if the label looks a little bit like it was hand-drawn by a small child, then that just adds to the charm.