Most Gavi is expensive and seldom worth the money; Paola and Luigi Lorenzi fly in the face of this unfortunate tradition by coaxing plenty of personality from their ten hectares of Cortese. Tassarolo is the highest commune in the DOCG and La Zerba’s vineyards are perched on a south-facing outcropping of iron-rich soil that looks south to the often snow-capped Ligurian Alps. The combination of low yields and a protracted harvest over a three-week window encourage complexity which is further supported by lees contact in tank and a spontaneous fermentation.
Organic since 2015 and now flirting with biodynamics, Luigi and winemaker Andrea Mascherini are tireless in their search for an authentic expression of Cortese, a grape that seldom hits the high notes but is capable of an undeniable summer deliciousness with delicate floral notes of acacia and honeyblossom, red apple, greengage, quince and tinned peaches. There is never any oak (although they are experimenting with amphora) but the acidity is taut and a hint of candied fruit on the palate drives an impressive finish. The ‘Terrarossa’ cuvée is sourced from a plot of 30-year-old vines and that adds an extra degree of complexity. Gavi is a great match with fish, fresh goats’ cheese and the local speciality, Montebore, which was (allegedly) Da Vinci’s favourite.
Gavi di Tassarolo DOCG 'Terrarossa'