La Giustiniana's Gavi di Gavi Montessora is hands down one of the best value white wines from the Piedmont. La Guistiniana are one of the few producers in the area whose chief aim is to realise the potential of that little known grape, Cortese (the grape that goes into Gavi). These are also my personal favourite producers of Gavi and the Montessora my favourite Gavi wines around. La Giustiniana's philosophy is that wine making starts in the vineyards and there are no pesticides or chemicals allowed within their 110 hectares. Combine this with low yields and exacting vineyard care and you are left with one of the best made Gavi di Gavi wines around.
This is the first time I've spoken about Gavi or Cortese on the blog and sharing their region with Barolo, Barberesco and Barbera these wines are often overlooked, as are all Piedmont whites. Gavi comes from the Alto Monferrato with Acqui, Ovada and Gavi the most famous production areas. Made solely from the Cortese grape, these wines have crisp flavours and are usually medium in body with good acidity. Gavi wines inparticular run the gamut of quality and it's imperative to know your producers. There's a lot of poorly made, insipid Gavi flowing around especially in the bars and restaurants on the west coast as the wine is an obvious accompaniment to seafood.
Gavi has gone through many changes since being awarded DOCG status and thus been en vogue and out of it several times in the last 50 years. At the moment, the fashion is for unoaked Gavi following the belief that oaked Gavi is strikingly similar to any new world oaked Chardonnay and we all know how far that has fallen from grace. So, perhaps due to the real best expression of Cortese in Gavi or perhaps with a nod to the success of Pinot Grigio the very best Gavi you'll find is unoaked, fragrant and delicate.
There are really seven producers of Gavi di Gavi whose name you can remember and be assured of quality. Here are your seven, in no particular order and with random currencies attached (I spoil you). Remember these names, basically they are all going to run £10-£15.
Morgassi Superiore - Gavi di Gavi - £10
La Scolca - Gavi di Gavi - $13
Villa Sparina - Gavi di Gavi - €13
Castellari Bergaglio - Rovereto - £12
La Guistiniana - Montessora - €12
Gian Piero Broglia - Villa Broglia - £9
Nicola Bergaglio - Gavi di Gavi La Minaia - £10
As good value as these wines are, and they really are as these producers vie for the best Gavi year on year, in my mind it is the Montessora that gives the most pleasure and is the star turn at the La Guistiniana vineyard. It's not often that you can try the very best wine from arguably the very best producer of an AOC/DOCG/DO whatever for under £10. This wine is the creme de la creme of the creme de la creme and I'm happy to be paying these prices any day for a wine with such low yields (40hl/ha for the Montessora) and quality wine making, go find it!
La Giustiniana Gavi di Gavi Montessora 2007 - BUY - €12
A straw yellow with green hues the wine is aromatic after a good spin cycle. On the nose the wine is delicate and has a distinct mineral quality with notes of apple, peaches and apricot. Mid bodied on the palate, soft and luscious but with a striking bitter finish, bitter good, not bitter bad. Refreshing with great acidity, clearly a wine for food. Good structure and more persistent than standard bottling. 88 Points
Where can I buy this wine?
Americans - Readers Wine - $13 - (Cant find the Montessora this is La Giustiniana's standard Gavi)
Europeans - Trimani - €12
Brits - Nickolls and Perks - £14
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I'm guessing no one here has tried a Gavi wine outside of my geeky twitter contingent *waves at Geeky twitter contingent* I love you bestest If you have, or have anything to say about anything wine related I'm always delighted to hear your ramblings. Post away.