Castello di Tassarolo
Most people ask for Gavi as Gavi di Gavi. Which may not be the best thing to do; the town of Gavi may have given its name to the style of wine, but you may very well find better wine in another of the local communes. We`ve always found Gavi di Tassarolo much more vivid. A few years ago, Ed and Colin were smitten by the Castello di Tassarolo Gavi, its bright energy, its grippy minerality. A small consignment landed on our shelves and disappeared in short order, and a measure of our dedication to getting it back is that we have resorted to the expedient of importing it ourselves. It`s not just us who like it; Jancis Robinson is a fan, and less likely wine luminary Martin Clunes seems to have taken a shine to it as well.
So what`s so special? At its best the Gavi grape Cortese makes a wine that is bright, aromatic, expressive, and with good acidity. But too much gets made in mass production terms and can come across as thin or neutral. At Castello di Tassarolo, they let the Cortese sing. When Massimiliana Spinola and Henry Finzi-Constantine took over the estate, they found depleted soils on the verge of desertification. Since then, they have nurtured the land, following organic and biodynamic principles; the vineyards have flourished in response. They work on the basis of low yields, and the results are apparent in the wine. This is Gavi at its best.
When we had the Il Castello and Titouan on tasting at the start of the month they split our customer base; half of you preferred the freshness of the Il Castello, half of you clearly preferred the perfume and richness of the Titouan. The Spinola is the simplest, freshest wine in the whole range. And for those of you interested in trying natural wines, the Senza Solfiti offers a particular take on the style of Gavi. Come and compare all four. (NT 09/01/18)