I just picked up the wines for the May wine club selection from Fine Wine Source in Livonia, Michigan. It is always fun to see what the wines will be, as I don’t read what they are, until I get them and bring them home, because I am like a little kid. The first wine is Franco Serra Gavi DOCG 2017. Franco Serra is produced by the Sperone family who has been making affordable wines for four generations. In 1920 Antonio Sperone opened a wine shop in Torino selling local bulk wines to consumers, but his concern of selling a better product, compelled him to start his own winery in Puglia. His business was destroyed during the bombings of World War II which caused his grandson to open a new facility near Milan where they produced vermouth, sparkling wines, spirits and wine. In 1965, the family purchased seventy-five acres of prime vineyards in the Piedmont and built the current winery in the small town of Mombaruzzo near Monferrato.
Gavi or Cortese di Gavi DOCG is the white wine jewel of the Piedmont. It is one of the most important white wines in Italy and one of the most popular that it exports. The DOCG status was awarded in 1998 and with that award are all the rules that must be followed and obeyed. The Cortese grape is an indigenous grape from the Gavi region and has been recorded since the 1600’s. Even though the wine is from the Piedmont region, the wine making evokes Liguria, because the wine is lighter and somewhat fruitier. The town of Gavi is the center of all production, and there is a subset Gavi di Gavi which is only for the vineyards within the confines of the township of Gavi, the other Gavi DOCG comes from the thirteen communes that have the right for the designation. It is also another wine that carries a banderol to show the guarantee of authenticity.
I haven’t tried the wine yet, but I have had other wines from Gavi and they are known for their crispness with a floral nose and some sweet fruit. I think the best of the wines offer traces of cucumber, a strange taste that one doesn’t immediately think of when discussing even white wines. It is a rather bone-dry white wine with minerals that really appear in the aftertaste, very flinty and fresh acidity, that makes one want to pour another glass or two. I think of this wine as a Spring to Summer wine and especially interesting before the main meal for me, usually with the antipasto, the charcuterie and the cheeses. Hopefully they haven’t cancelled Spring on us, here in Michigan.