2011 Ernesto Picollo Gavi DOCG

Don’t look now, but we are steaming into summer! Solstice is coming up on Friday, I wish I could be in Santa Barbara for that, but alas, I had a very rare weekend off last week. The band played 2 shows up in Hood River, Oregon, and we had a blast. A little wine was sipped, both local and imported, and there were many memorable moments, that’s for sure. Being June and all, there was a whole lot of daylight up there, so yeah, summer is on the mind big time! It must be time to stock up on this year’s refrigerator door white wine. This is an absolute no-brainer here. What else could it be? The 2011 Ernesto Picollo Gavi DOCG.

After having put together a Dirty Dozen or two over the past 7 years, it has become more than obvious that as far as good quality sub $10 wine bargains go, there are substantially more red options than white. Why that is, I don’t know, but it’s a fact. That’s what makes Picollo’s Gavi extraordinary.  We’ve been importing the Ernesto Picollo line for several vintages now, and we are absolutely delighted with the wines. Their entry-level Gavi DOCG is a great example of how refreshing the Cortese grape can be. Grown in Piemonte, Gavi is the white wine of choice all along the coast from the Italian Riviera to Cinque Terre. Think fresh citrus aromas with a hint of melon; the palate is framed by zippy white fruit and a whiff of pebbly minerals, which leads the taster to a bright, lipsmacking finish. I could totally see myself back in sunny Bordighera looking out over the Mediterranean sipping on a glass of this whilst I toss back a bowl of gamberi. The beauty of Picollo’s Gavi DOCG, is that it is great on its own as well as being versatile enough to pair with crustaceans, poultry, pork, or white fish. So what does this baby cost? $10.49 per bottle. By the case? How about less than $9??!!?? Definite no-brainer here.

It’s really hard to find enjoyable wines for less than $10. It’s even harder to find a good white wine in that price range. But that’s what we do; as Anya says, “We taste a lot of bad wines so you don’t have to.” When we say yes to something, it’s for good reason. Like the Ernesto Picollo Gavi DOCG. I fondly remember the first vintage we carried. I took a bottle over to my favorite Monday night haunt,and excitedly poured a taste for Bruce Hill himself. He took a sip, his expression changed, he nodded and smiled, “Nice,” he said.“What’s the grape?”
“Cortese,” I replied.
“Great, we’ll pour it by the glass at the Pizzeria. Good find. Tell (the manager).”
Let’s just say that I got to know their valets very well, as I used their parking lot several times to drop off cases of the stuff on my way home after work. If it was good enough for them, it is certainly good enough for me, and I will consider it a failure if I ever come home to a summer-heated treehouse and not have a bottle of Gavi already in the fridge!

So yeah, summer is almost here. It’s time for summer traditions like grilling, hiking, biking, hanging at the beach, I could go on but you all know what I’m getting at. Stocking up on quality, inexpensive white wine is another summer tradition that won’t be going away any time soon. As long as they continue to produce it, let’s just say that the Ernesto Picollo Gavi DOCG will be a summer tradition in 2013, and for years to come. Oh, and to all the Dads out there, best wishes for a Happy Father’s Day! – Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments about summer, inexpensive white wine, the band, or English Football: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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Filed under Cortese, Gavi, Peter Zavialoff

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