Giordano Lombardo Vigne di San Martino Gavi di Gavi 2016
Nestled just outside the medieval village of Gavi among verdant woods and picturesque vineyards, the 20 hectares that make up the biodynamic vineyard of Giordano Lombardo straddle the border of the Piedmont and Liguria regions. The indigenous Cortese vines that are grown here give rise to an unadulterated wine that fully embodies the climate, soil and winemaking tradition of the region. Passionately committed to the idea that nature is a resource to be nurtured rather than exploited and misused, yields are kept low and the use of pesticides, herbicides, anti-mildew agents and fertilizers is strictly forbidden.
After the grapes are hand-selected, they are brought to the temperature-controlled cellar where both vinification (both in barrels and bottles) and fining take place at a consistent temperature of 14/16 °C year-round. What results is a wine that bears the intense fragrances and characteristic flavors of the Gavi terroir.
Among Piedmont’s most historical and respected white wine producing zones, Gavi—also known as Gavi di Gavi and Cortese di Gavi—comes from Piedmont's southeast, in the province of Alessandria. Gavi is the main town of the area; Cortese is the grape. Cortese for Gavi is grown in any of 11 communes in the area where the soils are abundant in chalky, white, limestone-rich clay. The best Gavi from these locations are delicately floral, with stone fruit and citrus characters and a crisp, mineral-laden finish.
While typically made in a fresh and unoaked style, by law Gavi can come in many forms: frizzante, spumante, metodo classico and méthode ancestrale. But most producers maintain a conventional winemaking practice of temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel and make fresh, still whites. However, there are several barrique-aged examples, which can be interesting. The biodynamic wines of Gavi, fermented with ambient yeasts can be the most expressive.
Cortese was first recorded in the early 17th century at the far southeastern corner of Piedmont, in the province of Alessandria and today has no known relatives. It is most highly regarded here, in Gavi, and thus is often referred to simply as "Gavi." Cortese also grows well in the surrounding parts of Piedmont: Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato a few miles west of Gavi and just over a few hills to the east, in the Colli Tortonesi. But there Cortese doesn’t always achieve the ripeness, or get the winemaking proficiency that it does when grown on the limestone-rich soils of Gavi. While some renowned Barolo producers produce stellar Gavi, such as Michele Chiarlo and Pio Cesare, the region has no shortage of its own dedicated producers.
Because of its freshness and chalky minerality, this white wine commonly populates the fish restaurants’ wine lists of the Ligurian coast.