Cortese di Gavi DOCG wine guide
Cortese is a white wine of great importance in southern Piedmontese enology, not so much for its diffusion, but for its history and the turnover it brings.
It is widespread throughout the southern part of Piedmont, it is productive, but above all, it is a medium-high quality wine. It is not an epic wine like Timorasso, but it certainly never disappoints, it can give interesting wines with good structure.
Let’s not forget that Cortese is the vine used to produce a noble and refined wine like Gavi, so we are not talking about a dull wine.
Cortese di Gavi wine bouquet
The nose is elegant, rich, but never overbearing. It stands out for its precision, cleanliness, a nice not too ripe pulpy fruit, intriguing floral notes such as chamomile and broom and then the classic finish with distinct almonds and mineral aromas. Some particularly gifted bottles manage to develop a penetrating and particularly rich bouquet, with endless beeswax and plaster. To recognize the fabric of a Cortese-Gavi, consider that the more intense the presence of gypsum and minerals, the more exciting, expensive, but also worthy as a wine it will be.
What does Cortese-Gavi wine taste like?
In the mouth it is a sharp, harmonious wine, not overly full-bodied, on the contrary, it seduces you with a tight phrasing between flavor and freshness. It is not a full-bodied fatty wine, however, the minerality helps to give thickness and volume, but above all a good aging potential. And as it ages the hints become slightly riper, the tertiary emerges, the fruit rounds and finds maturity. Cortese is a very balanced white wine: it has all well-balanced characteristics: there are no deficiencies or acute. In some cases we find greatness, but usually in medio virtus stat.
Production area of Cortese di Gavi
Cortese is the king of southern Piedmont, a vine naturally attracted by the breezes of the Ligurian sea. His elective homeland is Gavi, a municipality of Novi Ligure, but let’s not forget that the Cortese has also taken root in Tortona and throughout the Province of Alessandria and Novarese. The hectares cultivated in Cortese are more than 3000.
To give you a point of reference, remember that the Tanaro river also acts as a border for white wines: Arneis and Barbaresco grow to the left of the river, Barolo and Cortese to the right. Production is also growing in the hills of Asti, but for now, the focus is on a production that is not very inspired, just to have a native white in the range of products.
Outside Piedmont, Cortese is grown in Oltrepò Pavese, near Custoza in Veneto and you will also find some bottles from Australia and California.
History of the Cortese grape
Cortese has been cultivated in the hills of Alessandria for countless centuries, so much so that the first document bearing its name dates back to 1630. The cradle where he was born is Gavi and here he finds the ideal conditions to give great wines, so you will often find labels with the DOCG Cortese di Gavi.
Average Cortese wine price
Very variable, it is one of the wines that are affected by seismic fluctuations in quality, to say the least: it starts from 3 euros for the lowest bottles you find in discount stores to get up to 20, 25 euros for great wines such as Michele Chiarlo’s Gavi. 12 is a very reasonable price for good wines.
10 degrees for the simplest wines, 10-12 for the more rocky and complex wines that would be mortified by too low a temperature.
Gavi-Cortese food pairings
Its extreme cleanliness, good flavor, intense aromas invite it to be paired with raw fish, sushi, maki, fried seafood and spaghetti with clams. Try it also with salami and fried dumplings. Recommended dishes: carbonara, paccheri stuffed with swordfish, pine nuts and raisins, tagliolini with nettle and squid sauce, risotto alla marinara, rice and bisi, paella, pad thai.