Wine For the Fortnight – Castelvero, Cortese Piemonte, 2010

Sorry that it has been so much more than a fortnight.  Life has been intruding way too much on my wine drinking and writing.  This post’s wine is about a lesser known white from the Piedmont region of Italy (Piemonte in Italian).  Cortese is the grape used in making Gavi.  What little attention paid to Cortese in the wine press usually goes to Gavi, a wine from south-western Piedmont.  I don’t know why.  Most Gavi is thin, with little flavor and overly acidic.  But don’t write of the variety based on that.  Other parts of Piedmont are doing some good things with the grape.

I first became aware of this when I tasted a very nice one at Castino Luigi in Piedmont a few years ago.  Unfortunately the very good wines from this maker are hard to find in the US.  They did make me keep an eye out for other Cortese though.  Yesterday I drank a nice one from Castevero, made in the Monferato in central Piedmont.

Castelvero, Cortese Piemonte, 2010 is a nice wine at a nice price.  My bottle cost $12 US.  Cortese is not a very aromatic variety but this wine had some aromas of apples and grapefruit.  Those things were in the flavor too but what impressed me was the mineral flavor, almost like a good Chablis.  It had a decent finish and was very well balanced with none of the searing acidity that is all too common in Gavi.  If you wanted a comparison, it was like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but with more minerals and less of the citrus flavor they typically have.

It went well with the shrimp dish I had making me think it would work well with most seafood.  I would enjoy trying it with a fresh goat’s milk cheese too.

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