The single-vineyard 2017 Villa Sparina Monterotondo Gavi del Comune di Gavi (94 Points – James Suckling) is nothing short of a tour de force in winemaking. Fashioned from all organically grown grapes from the revered Monterotondo vineyard, the 2017 Villa Sparina Monterotondo Gavi del Comune di Gavi had us from the moment it was poured. Sporting a bright sunshiny color and offering a heady draught of fruit, mineral and stone, we couldn’t wait to dive in. Once in the mouth, lovely textured fruit in the form of ripe apples, peaches, and lemon custard greet the palate. Medium to full-bodied for a Gavi, the 2017 Villa Sparina Monterotondo offers layers of textured fruit, infused with a seductive minerality and freshness that render this Gavi impossible to resist. Long and flavorful with an impressive finish, the 2017 Villa Sparina Monterotondo Gavi del Comune di Gavi possesses real depth and personality. Enjoy this splendid Gavi del Comune di Gavi now and often with a moderate chill (40°-45° F). Anticipated maturity: 2020-2024.
Considering the supreme elegance, flavor, and purity of the 2017 Villa Sparina Monterotondo Gavi del Comune di Gavi, the finest clean wine glasses constitute the only prerequisite to the enjoyment of this wine. Nevertheless, it would be a shame to drink this beautiful Gavi all by itself when superbly prepared seafood, poultry, and risottos would surely double the pleasure. Pan Seared Red Snapper, Stuffed Flounder, or Grilled Cobia all provide delicious accompaniments. A hearty serving of Sautéed Bay Scallops, prepared in a cream sauce with unsalted pistachio nuts and Mediterranean herbs, provides another splendid accompaniment to Villa Sparina’s 2017 Monterotondo Gavi del Comune di Gavi. A simple but carefully prepared Chicken Francese is perennial favorite, too. Pasta Primavera and creamy risotttos provide additional gustatory complements to this wine. In addition, the Cortese grape possesses an affinity for all kinds of cow’s milk cheeses. Asiago, Fontina, and Montasio as well as a fine Hudson Red cheese all pair beautifully with Villa Sparina’s premier 2017 Monterotondo Gavi. Buon Appetito!
The 70-hectare Villa Sparina estate (named “European Winery of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast in their 2021 Wine Star Awards) is the star of the Comune di Gavi DOCG. It was purchased by the Moccagatta family in the late 1970s at a time when white Italian wines were just beginning to make their mark on the international stage. Located in the northern section of the hilly Gavi appellation on a mixture of clay, marl, and gravel soils, Villa Sparina’s Gavi benefits from the estate’s high elevation, ideal soil composition, and prevailing maritime influence from the Mediterranean Sea to the south – all ideal conditions for Gavi’s prized Cortese grape variety.
Villa Sparina vinifies its Cortese grapes in a variety of styles, beginning with a classic, lighter-style of Gavi from vineyards averaging 30 years in age. However, it is the single vineyard, richer, age-worthy Gavi Monterotondo from 40-year-old organically farmed vines that has earned Villa Sparina the greatest acclaim, including consistent 90+ point ratings and the highly coveted Tre Bicchiere Award from Gambero Rosso, Italy’s leading wine and food platform. To highlight the estate’s premier wine, Villa Sparina bottles its Monterotondo Gavi in a special bottle, both in its shape and tinted color. This unique bottle was inspired by an antique bottle that was discovered in Villa Sparina’s historic wine cellar.
In addition to award-winning Gavi, Villa Sparina also fashions a very highly rated sparkling wine that is aged on its lees for 30 months as well as two fine reds from 100 percent Barbera grapes, the region’s other indigenous grape variety. The Villa Sparina Barbera is made in a fresh, lively style for early consumption, while the estate’s Barbera Rivalta is a richer barrique-aged cru made for long-term aging.
Gavi has been likened to white Burgundy, but the comparison does neither wine justice. At their best, Gavi and white Burgundy possess ripe, beautiful 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 Comune di Gavi zone, render a decidedly different wine from white Burgundy. Gavi will almost always be the lighter, drier, more ethereal wine, but none the less for the difference. True Gavi provides superb balance, delicate fruit, and vibrant acidity, which makes it ideal to drink as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to the finest seafood, poultry, and risottos.
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