Tasting Report – the best Gavi to try

All the wines were tasted by Raffaele Mosca in Gavi, Piedmont in March 2024.

FOUR STARS PLUS **** +

Binè

Gavi Riserva Vigna Gambarotta 2020

The first edition of this new wine by Binè airs attractive aromas of sweet almonds, honeydew melon, licorice and herbs, with a touch of saffron in the background. Brief oak aging imparted a bit of extra textural depth but the mouthfeel is still youthfully bright and zingy, only showing the slightest hint of gasoline on the savory finish. Give it a few more years to blossom. 

Importers and retailers: Rubia Wine Icons (United States) / Connoisseur Wine (Ontario, Canada)

La Raia

Gavi Vigna Madonnina Riserva 2019

Captivating nuances of walnuts, white pepper and salt air superimpose over juicy orchard fruits. The palate is tighter than the nose would suggest and almost chalky in texture, with crisp acidity emphasizing the palate-cleansing effect, subdued touches of diesel fuel and smoked almonds complicating the long and savory finish. It has already  started showing some tertiary notes but won’t reach its peak too soon. 

Importers and retailers: Rosenthal Wine Merchant (United States)

La Scolca

Gavi dei Gavi Black Label 105th Anniversary Limited Edition 2019

A limited edition late release that celebrates the 105th anniversary of La Scolca, the 2019 Black Label Limited Edition has just started developing TDN-derived complexity. Subdued nuttiness and a touch of struck match complement anise, menthol, jasmine, and hay. The palate has a savory and zesty attack, followed by smoother flavors of sweet nectarine, roasted almonds and marzipan, leading to a long, waxy and slightly spicy finish. Please note that Gavi dei Gavi is a trademark registered by La Scolca and has nothing to do with the Gavi del Comune di Gavi additional mention. 

Importers and retailers: Stanfield Scott (United States) / Vinello (UK)

La Giustiniana

Gavi del Comune di Gavi Montessora 2022

Fresh and youthful with leesy aromas, wild fennel, lemon zest, nectarine, jasmine and flint. Savory and tactile with good fruit weight and lifted acidity adding to its vibrancy, hints of herbs and licorice extending the phenolic and almost chalky finish. A classically-styled wine from a Chateau-like estate dating back to the 17th century.

Importers and retailers: Rogers and Company (United States) / Vinum (UK)

FOUR STARS ****

Marchese Luca Spinola

Gavi del Comune di Gavi Carlo 2021

Jasmine, sage, lemon rind and white almond dominate the nose. Then similar flavors echo on the palate, giving an impression of youthful crispness. Dried herbs and a touch of iodine linger on the simple but clear-cut finish. Carlo is the flagship wine of this long-running estate owned by an aristocratic family from Genoa.

Importers and retailers: Garbadani Wines (UK) 

Picollo Ernesto

Gavi del Gavi Comune di Rovereto 2023 

Easygoing and fresh, honeydew melon, jasmine and a yeasty note of hop outline a high-pitched nose. Equally bright on the palate, taut acidity runs through the mid-weight structure, while savory minerals and a grippy phenolic undertone echo on the q-zingy finish. Deliciously gluggable right now but I recommend letting it flesh out with longer aging. 

Importers and retailers: Volio Imports (US) 

Cantina Produttori del Gavi

Gavi del Comune di Gavi GG 2021

Spending roughly two years in stainless steel on the fine lees, this has a fresh nose of wild fennel, hawthorn, honeydew melon and candied lemon peel, with an underlying touch of lanolin – almost a bit Chenin-like. Bright, crisp qnd showing a touch of phenolic bitterness on the back-end, it only vaguely hints at its long-term potential, finishing balsamic and steely. Let it rest in the cellar.

Importers and retailers: Bowler Wine (United States) 

Tenuta San Lorenzo

Gavi 2022

Hints of gasoline, hay and dried fruits anticipate white flowers, licorice and candied ginger, shaping an especially expressive nose. Richer than most young examples, with a balsamic overtone complicating smoked almonds and ripe orchard fruits, you can guess the warm vintage by the precious mineral and spicy flavors extending the medium to long finish.

Importers and retailers: Champagnes and Chateaux (UK) / Giuliana Imports (United States)

 

Older vintages

FIVE STARS *****

Cantina Produttori del Gavi

Gavi del Comune di Gavi GG 2007

Boasting an incredibly youthful color – pale straw with the slightest golden hue – GG is still in pristine shape after seventeen years. Gasoline, hay and roasted almonds are intermixed with wild fennel, sage, iodine, and an elegant shade of white truffle that gains intensity with coaxing. Incredibly vibrant, with almost chalky minerals underlying marzipan and acacia honey, hints of lemon pith and smoke echo on the terrifically bright finish.

La Scolca

D’Antan Vino bianco secco 2009

Boasting a light golden color with straw hues, the D’Antan is only more intense than the late-release Black Edition, focusing on flint, hay, marzipan, licorice candy and cinnamon, with traces of mellow orchard fruits in the background. Lovely lees-derived flavors of walnuts and sourdough bread complicate and smoothen the savory and spicy progression, lingering on a minerally finish with subdued earthy and smoky undertones adding extra depth. Weighing in at 11.5%, this declassified Gavi remarks that high alcohol is by no means necessary to achieve outstanding ageability. 

FOUR STARS PLUS **** +

La Giustiniana

Gavi del Comune di Gavi Montessora 2016

Displaying a deep straw color with golden reflections, the 2016 Montessora has just started showing some evolution: Riesling-like diesel fuel and flint mingle with white pepper, nutmeg, and peach jelly. Stimulating acids underpin a viscous core of saffron and pear compote, leading to a complex finish that blends flavors of gasoline and hazelnut with the vibrancy required to hold up for another decade or so. 

Villa Sparina

Gavi del Comune di Gavi Monterotondo 2013

Partially undergoing oak aging, Monterotondo is more similar to riper styles of Chablis than Riesling: deep golden hues anticipate creamy aromas of creme brûlée, wildflower honey, poached pear, and saffron. A savory tang lifts the smooth and honeyed core. Herbs and minerals linger mingle with a touch of quince on the long finish. Perfect with tagliolini al tartufo bianco. 

FOUR STARS ****

La Mesma

Gavi Vigna della Rovere Riserva 2015 

Made from the estate’s oldest vineyards and spending roughly 18 months in concrete on the fine lees, Vigna della Rovere Riserva 2015 is strikingly fresh for a warm-vintage wine – herbal aromas probably hinting at the grapes having been picked quite early mingle with licorice, iodine, and a spicy whiff of curry. Herbal notes appear again on the palate, adding to the overall freshness of the progression, which finishes saline and pithy. Remarkably youthful and lively – if not especially fruity. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *