Northern Italy’s Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) is justifiably famous for its top-shelf reds: think Barolo, Barbaresco, and Nizza Barbera. Those big reds tend to overshadow the fact that Piedmont is arguably Italy’s most diverse wine region. After all, this is where Gattinara, Moscato d’Asti, Ruche, and Grignolino also got their start. And often, the same stellar producers who are crafting Piedmont’s loftiest reds are also crafting great sippers from its lesser-known varieties—making Piedmont’s white wines an extraordinary value.
Sitting right at the Ligurian border, Gavi was the first white wine to earn Italy’s top-tier DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) status, and Lot 820 displays in vibrant detail why that accolade is so well deserved. Sourced from a top winery in the Langhe district of the Piedmont region in the Northwest of Italy, Lot 820 is made from select vineyards with exceptional sun exposure and soil, with the Cortese grapes hand-picked at the end of September and undergoing a soft press and fermentation at 15-16°C for ten days. Made in a style of production that has hardly changed since 1876, this wine is an Italian classic and represents a terrific value at this price.
Since the 17th century, Gavi has been served alongside cuisine from Piedmont and Liguria, naturally creating one of northern Italy’s most versatile, food-friendly whites. With all of the minerality, wet stone, and citrus pith that this 2020 white is throwing around, you might think that you’ve found Piedmont’s drier, more sophisticated answer to high-end German Riesling. And you’d be right. Lot 820 pours a beautiful pale color in the glass with wafting notes of lemon pith, white flowers, and a wet river stone minerality. It might remind you of a bone-dry Riesling with those stony notes. It’s racy, eclectic, and vibrant and that wet stone minerality stands out as a bounty of mouthwatering acidity on the palate, accompanied by tart lemon and lime zest, and finishes long and lean with a saline edge. This wine will bring a refreshing element to any first course, serve as a dynamic palate-cleanser for rich casserole dishes, and it’s also ready for that delectable cheese course you prepared for dessert.
Watch as Chris Lafleur, Sommeliers Creed for Cameron Hughes walks us through a tasting.