Gavi always seemed to me to be an old fashioned wine, one that little old ladies drank. Somehow, it seemed declasse’. Boy was I wrong. Actually two Gavi wines were among my favorite wines tasted during the long marathon otherwise known as Vino 2010 held in New York from February 3 to February 5. They were made by a winery called La Mesma, located in Monterotondo (Alessandria). This area is on the border between Piedmont and Liguria, two beautiful regions of Northwestern Italy.
La Mesma has 26 hectares planted with the Cortese grape which is the grape in Gavi. La Mesma is run by three sisters from the Rosina family: Paola, Francesca and Anna. The sisters don’t have organic certification, most Italian wineries don’t either. They do not however use fertilizers or pesticides. Instead they have a planting system which uses legumes buried during flowering between the vines. This system helps to improve the vegetative cycle of the vine without harming the environment. The sisters are also using their pruned canes for biomass fuel, a pilot project they are working on with Enviro, a company of the SAIF SpA group.
In terms of vinification, the sisters use stainless tanks and are considering building concrete ones as part of a project to expand their winery. Cortese is a delicate grapes with citrus and white flower aromas, perfect as an aperitivo or when made into a sparkling wine. I tasted their sparkling wine and thought it was exquisite at Luca Maroni’s SensofWine event held on February 4. The wine is made in the traditional method with secondary refermentation taking place in the bottle. The wine rests on its lees for at least 18 months in the bottle.
I also tasted their Gavi D.O.C.G., a still wine which was delicious with fruit aromas of apricots and floral notes. Light and refreshing, both of these wines made me long to know more about Gavi and to make up for lost time.