Since 1956, the Piedmont winemaker Michele Chiarlo has been at the forefront
of innovation and the significant elevation of quality, particularly for Barbaresco,
Barolo and Barbera, as well as, some of the less well-known styles such as this
week’s DéClassé recommended Gavi. Now with official designation, the Gavi
DOCG lies in northern Italy: a region that enjoys a unique micro-climate which
is highly conducive to cultivation of early ripening grape varieties like Cortese.
On 60 hectares, the Chiarlo family operation continues to explore and develop
the full potential of a terroir in which the combined Alpine and Maritime weather
conditions sees the heat of summer alternating with fog-bound harvest seasons.
Orme Su La Court (Footsteps in La Court) is an additionally remarkable aspect
of a winery already blessed with the beauty of its natural surroundings. It’s an
art walk that expresses the influences of the four elements of Earth, Air, Water
and Fire. Designed in collaboration with Genovese artist Emanuele Luzzati, the
sculpture installations have been placed amidst the long rows of vines that wend
their way across the rolling hills of the La Court estate. A notable feature, is the
grouping of ceramic heads on poles called ‘Le Teste Segnapalo’. These are
the reinterpretation of a traditional practice of placing figureheads in the vineyard
landscape to ward away negative influences on the growth of the grapes. The
walk begins and ends at a cluster of farm houses where exhibits, film showings
and live performance offer visitors the delightful chance to mix the appreciation
and creativity of the wines with the experiences of art.
The North American market is still slow in grasping an appreciation for the wide
range of Italy’s dry white wine other than ubiquitous varieties of Pinot Grigio and
Soave; arguably the least distinctive of their exported offerings. Gavi, apart from
being a pleasing apéritif wine served alongside antipasti, is also complimentary
to main courses of grilled fish, light cream-based pasta or pesto dishes. Dare to
consider adding this to an evolving contingent of alternate and more-interesting
choices such as Pecorino and Verdicchio. Only available in LCBO’s Vintages
section, this limited, seasonal release won’t be on shelves for very long.
MICHELE CHIARLO LE MARNE GAVI 2013
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #228528 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 16.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Piedmont, Italy
By: Michele Chiarlo Azienda Srl
Release Date: Feb. 7, 2015
This crisp, dry white wine has many of the typical characteristics of the Cortese
grape including delicate notes of honey, apples, vanilla and a touch of minerality.
Try serving with stuffed trout, roast pork or vegetable and cheese ravioli.