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Stefano Massone has once again fashioned a fresh, lively, natural Gavi of supreme elegance and breed from the six hectare Vigneto Masera. From the wine’s inviting straw-colored robe to a blithe, refreshing finish the 2008 Massone Masera Gavi is another unequivocal success from this estate. It offers the usual clean, refreshing fruit flavors and overt appeal for which Gavi is renowned, and more. Delicate grape, pear, pineapple, and fresh squeezed lime scents caress the nose, and as always Massone’s 100% Cortese Vigneto Masera threads the magical line on the palate between soft succulence and refreshing crispness. Gavi shines in the hands of Stefano Massone, a master wine maker who rightly eschews the use of oak barrel ageing in favor of highlighting Gavi’s natural attributes: delicacy of perfume, subtlety of flavor, and a refreshing zip. In the mouth, the savor of soft fruit, crushed flowers, minerals, and lemon oil meld with a bright acidity that carries through to the wine’s long, pleasingly dry finish. We suggest you serve this delightful Gavi well chilled (about 40º F) and then allow it to slowly reach ambient temperature in the glass. This will afford the 2008 Vigneto Masera time to unfold in the glass and reveal its ultimate charms and cornucopia of nuanced flavors. Salute!
Considering the supreme elegance and purity of the 2008 Stefano Massone Masera Gavi, the possibility of a second or third glass may be all that is needed for the ultimate enjoyment of this wine. True to form, Massone’s Gavi drinks beautifully as an aperitif. Although often served in the Piedmont as the prelude to a sumptuous meal, it would be a shame to relegate this artfully made Gavi to the sole role of aperitif extraordinaire . . . but we could think of a lot worse things. However, if you add the company of a special someone and some well prepared seafood to the mix, you have a recipe for a sublime dining experience. Sautéed Sea Scallops, prepared in a cream sauce with unsalted pistachio nuts and Mediterranean herbs is one of our favorite dishes with this Gavi. Pan Seared Red Snapper, Stuffed Flounder, and Sautéed Grouper all provide delicious accompaniments to Stefano Massone’s delicious 2008 Vigneto Masera as well. A simple Pasta Primavera and delicately prepared Chicken Francese offer more outstanding choices of accompaniment. In addition, most cream based sauces and soft cow’s milk cheeses pair nicely with Gavi; the Cortese grape seems to have natural proclivity for accompanying dairy as well as seafood. Enjoy!
Stefano Massone has crafted a model estate in Gavi, which is unequivocally the finest white wine zone in Italy’s Piedmont. Massone works a mere 8 hectares (or just a little less than 18 acres) from which he fashions two exceptional Gavis from two special vineyards: Vigneto Masera and San Cristoforo. Located in Capriata d’Orba in the southeastern section of the Gavi DOC, Massone’s vineyards enjoy prime southern exposures.
Stefano Massone is a rarity in Piedmont: he produces only white wine and from a single grape varietal. At his estate, the blithe Cortese varietal rules, and there are no compromises or cut corners. Quality is paramount. Consequently, the estate’s Masera and Cristoforo vineyards are farmed organically. There are no herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, or systemic chemicals used in the vineyards. The rows of vines are sown with ground cover, which is either tilled or mown to turn to humus in alternating fashion. Furthermore, yields are kept very low to assure ripeness and sulfite usage is at a minimum. All of this care allows Massone himself to ferment the delicate golden clusters of Cortese di Gavi to perfection in his modern winery.
In the north of Italy, nestled just beneath the great Alpine wall as it tumbles out of Switzerland and the gleaming Mediterranean Sea, lies Piemonte, Italy’s Piedmont. It is a region of myriad beauty. It is also the region of Italy closest to France in proximity as well as in the sheer quality and variety of exceptional wines it produces. For centuries, Italy’s Piedmont remained a prize to be won among warring European powers, no doubt at least in part on account of the province’s world famous cuisine that still draws happily on the abundance and quality of local truffles. Yet today, it is the superbly made wines of Italy’s Piedmont that garner the most international recognition: complex, hedonistic red wines, still delicate whites such as Gavi, and sweet haunting Muscats. With such exquisite fare, should anyone question why the wines of the Piedmont and the hearty robust delights of the Piedmontese table remain the region’s most famous ambassadors to a hungry and thirsty world?
Gavi has been likened to white Burgundy, but the comparison does neither wine justice. At their best Gavi and white Burgundy possess ripe, rich fruit, a clean mineral quality, and ideal balance, but Gavi will always remain a more delicate wine than white Burgundy. The Cortese varietal, from which authentic Gavi is born, coupled with the soil, climate, and ultimate terroir of the Gavi zone render a decidedly different wine from white Burgundy and similarly styled Chardonnay wines. Gavi will almost always be the lighter, drier, more ethereal wine, but none the less for the difference. True Gavi provides perfect balance, delicious fruit, and vibrant acidity, which makes it ideal as an aperitif.
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