Today's Wine Accessory
Riedel "O" glasses
Offbeat Italian grape, great value
Continuing our Wine Focus on offbeat grape varieties fit for the Wine Century Club this month, let's take a closer look at an immensely appealing and affordable white wine made from the Northwestern Italian grape Cortese.
Castelvero 2009 Piemonte Cortese comes from Araldica, a larger corporate producer by Piemontese standards, making more than 10 million bottles annually under a broad portfolio of labels. But there's no hint of Olive Garden style in this Cortese, which offers considerable bang for the buck in a $10 (or less) bottle.
Cortese is grown across much of Northern Italy, but its historic home for the past three centuries or more has been around the Alto Monferrato region in Piemonte. It is desired for its trait of retaining high acidity in the grape and wine, even in hot years, resulting in a crisp, snappy wine that goes well with fish but that may require a little winery magic (malolactic fermentation, for example, or even a little dash of concentrated sweet Muscat grape must) to hold it in balance.
You may know Cortese as the anonymous grape that makes up 100 percent of Gavi, a popular Piemontese white. Here, however, it stands on its own in a delicious citric wine, full of grapefruit and lime, with lightweight alcohol and a rather rich body that keeps that acidity under control. Serve it cool on warm summer evenings and enjoy.
Remember, we're featuring the diverse wine varieties of the Wine Century Club in Wine Focus for June in our WineLovers Discussion Group. Join us as our friendly international crowd of wine lovers share our thoughts, questions and tasting notes on the most off-the-beaten-path varietal wines we can find.
Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system. For your user name, enter your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D", with the capital letters and the space.
Today's Tasting Report
Castelvero 2009 Piemonte Cortese ($9.99)
Clear straw color with a brassy hue. Good citric aromas, white grapefruit with a squeeze of lime. Clean acidity underscores the juicy citrus, and it's fully dry, but juicy citrus and medium-plus body mellow any tart edges under a blanket of fruit. Fresh and clean and likely to stay that way under its sturdy metal screw cap; modest 11.5% alcohol invites alfresco summer sipping. U.S. importer: Vias Imports Ltd., NYC. (June 23, 2011)
FOOD MATCH: Versatile at the table, should be good with fish, poultry, pork or lightly spicy vegetarian fare like our choice, a Southeast Asian-flavor slaw dressed with white miso, peanut butter, Sriracha sauce and lime juice.
VALUE: A very, very good buy for summertime sipping or table use at $10 or less. Watch for sales, as Wine-Searcher.com shows it widely available for less, occasionally as low as $7.
Cortese = "Cor-TEH-zeh"
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Compare prices and find vendors for Castelvero Cortese on Wine-Searcher.com
For additional assistance, this winery Web page offers an Email link for distributor information.
Talk About Wine Online
If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet's first and still the most civil online community. To find our forums, click:
Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D". Anonymous, cryptic or first-name-only registrations are discarded without notice.
Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.
To contact me by E-mail, write firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.
Subscriptions and Administrivia
We're sorry if you must leave us, but simply click the "unsubscribe"
link at the bottom of your Email edition to be instantly removed from the mailing list.
The quickest and easiest way to change your Email address is simply to register anew, using the link below. If you are keeping your old address but no longer wish to get the Wine Advisor there, click the unsubscribe link below to take it off our list; if you are closing the mailbox, you needn't take any action, as our system will delete your old address as soon as the mail to your old address starts to "bounce."
Subscribe to this Email edition (free):
WineLoversPage.com RSS Feed (free):
Wine Advisor Archives:
For information, E-mail email@example.com