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A bright, sunny wine, the 2004 Tacchino Gavi di Gavi is ample reminder that spring is on the way. Forsythia, spring flowers, and subtle mineral tones highlight the scent of this lovely, balanced Gavi – testimony to just how hauntingly aromatic the Cortese grape variety can be in the hands of a master winemaker, especially from low yielding vineyards with south facing slopes. Furthermore, pure light lovely fruit distinguishes the center of Tacchino’s Gavi di Gavi. Followed by hints of crushed flowers, mineral, and lemon oil; this Gavi displays both elegance and flavor on the palate. Dry and ethereal on the finish, the 2004 Luigi Tacchino Gavi di Gavi is quintessential Gavi, which is tantamount to grace in a glass. We suggest you serve this charming white wine well chilled (about 40º F) and then allow it to slowly reach ambient temperature in the glass. This will allow this excellent Gavi to unfold and reveal naturally all its latent charms and subtle nuances of flavor. Salute!
Considering the supreme elegance and purity of the 2004 Luigi Tacchino Gavi di Gavi, two glasses may be the only prerequisite for this wine. After all, it would be a shame to drink this beautiful Gavi all by oneself….or maybe not. Just be sure it is the right someone else. Add some top-notch seafood to the two glasses of Luigi Tacchino’s Gavi and you have a recipe for a sublime dining experience. Pan Seared Red Snapper, Stuffed Flounder, or Sautéed Alaskan Halibut all provide delicious accompaniments. However, Sautéed Bay Scallops, prepared in a cream sauce with unsalted pistachio nuts and Mediterranean herbs is one of our all time favorite dishes with Tacchino’s Gavi. A simple but carefully prepared Chicken Francese is another one of our perennial favorites. In addition, most cream based sauces and soft cow’s milk cheeses pair nicely with this Gavi; the Cortese grape seems to have natural proclivity for accompanying dairy as well as seafood. Enjoy!
The Luigi Tacchino winery is what one would call a garagiste, literally and figuratively. The Tacchino family winery is plainly part of the house, the garage in fact. Moreover, the entire operation is a family affair. Today, some of the best and most expensive wines in Italy, France, and elsewhere, are born in garages; hence, the term garagiste.
The pragmatic middle aged Luigi Tacchino is the namesake of this small boutique winery that has been producing wine for three generations, but much of Tacchino’s recent surge in quality is attributed to Luigi’s energetic daughter Romina, who continues to push the envelope and proverbial quality quotient at this Piedmontese property. Scattered over a little more than 55 acres at some of the highest elevations in the Monferrato, Tacchino’s low yielding vineyards are dedicated primarily to Gavi, Barbera, and Dolcetto – all Piedmontese specialties. Until now, none of Tacchino’s wines had ever appeared in the United States. Tacchino’s primary markets have always been Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Norway, but that is about to change.
Italy is full of surprises and unexpected wine delights, often from the least likely of locales. The Luigi Tacchino winery is just one of many wonderful discoveries from a recent sojourn in Italy. What follows is a commentary or series of personal impressions on Italy and Italian wines that our tasting panel collected along the way.
Italian Travels – Part I – The Panel on the Road
Although we tasted some 400 wines in just 6 days in Northern Italy this seemingly lofty number of offerings constitute far less than 1% of all Italian wine. However, the 400 wines we tasted were carefully selected to provide a perspective of Italy's principal wine regions. From this parapet we were treated to a panoramic view of the Northern Italian winescape. However, what lies beyond is an even vaster realm of oenophilia – the world’s most prolific and exciting.
Thoughts on the wines:
In general, quality red and white wines in Italy are the result of limiting yields from well drained densely planted vineyards that most often sit astride steep slopes, where no mechanical harvester dare tread. Such terroirs and viticultural practices serve to stress vineyards, with the goal of achieving a balance between fruit concentration and acidity in the grapes. These viticultural practices furnish a high skin to juice ratio; consequently, substantial tannins and wines with firm acid backbones, especially in regards to the reds, are the result. Surely, Italian wines are not Australian wines, effusive in their fruit flavors, big bold, or brash unless the producer has decided intentionally to "internationalize" his or her wines by blending in Chardonnay for whites or one or more of the red triumvirate of Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah for reds. Such international varietals, when grown in Italy, are distinctly fleshier, fuller and fruitier in taste than traditional Italian varieties such as Cortese di Gavi, Garganega, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Sangiovese, and even Dolcetto, the name notwithstanding.
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