Enrico Serafino Gavi 2020
Enrico Serafino "Grifo del Quartaro" Gavi di Gavi is a classic example of Piedmont's noble white wine made from the native Cortese grape. Gavi DOCG is the most esteemed source of Cortese wines and the town of Gavi, at its heart, is recognized to produce the finest expressions of the denomination. Thanks to the sloping hills and exposure, as well as marly, white chalky and clay-rich earth, the area creates wines with clear-cut character, freshness, and minerality, as well as complex structure. The name Grifo del Quartaro refers to an antique coin used by Genovese Lords (from the city of Genoa that is not far from the village of Gavi), who were the vineyard land-owners of the Gavi area.
Since 1878, Enrico Serafino has been a family winery crafting artisan wines that show their commitment from generation to generation. This careful dedication to quality comes from the vineyards spread throughout the UNESCO World Heritage site, in the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato in the Piedmont region. Their sustainable approach and meticulous execution allow them to craft a whole set of wines true to the terroir.
Located in Canale, the winery produces a wide array of traditional Piemontese wines, both from the area around the winery in Roero, and also from Barolo and Gavi. Less typically however, Serafino produces Metodo Classico (fermented in the bottle) sparkling wines, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Serafino was on the forefront in the mid-1900s, of the development of what would eventually become the Alta Langa. Today the winery produces three Alta Langa DOCG wines, with their ZERO Alta Langa Metodo Classico being awarded the Best Italian Sparkling Wine of the Year by the prestigious Gambero Rosso Guide in 2014.
The winery also owns 25 acres of Barolo vineyards in the renowned areas of Serralunga, Monforte d'Alba, and Castiglione Falletto where they produce Barolo Monclivio, Barolo Seralunga, and a Nebbiolo Langhe from the “forgotten” Picotener grape.
Today, after more than 140 harvests, Enrico Serafino is still family-owned maintaining the original artisanal soul, respect for future generations and passion for details that have distinguished the winery since the beginning.
Set upon a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, the enchanting and rolling hills of Piedmont are the source of some of the country’s longest-lived and most sought-after wines. Vineyards cover a great majority of the land area—especially in Barolo—with the most prized sites at the top hilltops or on south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. Piedmont has a continental climate with hot, humid summers leading to cold winters and precipitation year-round. The reliable autumnal fog provides a cooling effect, especially beneficial for Nebbiolo, Piedmont’s most prestigious variety.
In fact, Nebbiolo is named exactly for the arrival of this pre-harvest fog (called “nebbia” in Italian), which prolongs cluster hang time and allows full phenolic balance and ripeness. Harvest of Nebbiolo is last among Piedmont's varieties, occurring sometime in October. This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure; the best examples can require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. Across the Tanaro River, the Roero region, and farther north, the regions of Gattinara and Ghemme, also produce excellent quality Nebbiolo.
Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin and juicy red fruit. Dolcetto, Piedmont’s other important red grape, is usually ready within a couple of years of release.
White wines, while less ubiquitous here, should not be missed. Key varieties include Arneis, Cortese, Timorasso, Erbaluce and the sweet, charming Muscat, responsible for the brilliantly recognizable, Moscato d'Asti.
First recorded in the early 17th century in the province of Alessandria in SE Piedmont, Cortese today is most highly regarded from Gavi where soils are limestone-rich. It also grows well in the surrounding zones, namely Monferrato and Colli Tortonesi. Somm Secret—Because of its freshness and chalky minerality, this white wine commonly populates the fish restaurants’ wine lists of the Ligurian coast so practically owes more allegiance to this neighboring region than its home.