The 2015 Piemonte DOC Cortese (Chardonnay) offering is a real treat.
The first thing that catches the eye is, unsurprisingly, the rustic simplicity of the label. It’s a tale as old as time that you should never judge a bottle by its label, just as you should never judge a book by its cover, etc. – but it’s hard not to fall foul of this when accosted by the elegant label, detailing natural vines in the clean air of Piedmont.
Overall, this is a very light wine. At 11,5% it’s clean, fresh and the light effervescence on the palate is characteristic of the fine wines from this region. It’s more akin to a gentle prosecco, rather than a white vin de table.
The vinification process of Gozzelino is one of love and ardour – they manually select their grapes, and they are only picked once deemed at a point of complete maturation. The grapes are then pressed and exposed to temperature-controlled fermentation.
The hues of colour are almost non-existent. That is to say that it is so crisp, so clear that one might be forgiven for thinking that your glass is filled with sparkling water. However, on closer inspection, there a light flashes of straw-yellow, and the faintest tinge of green.
The nose offers top notes of honey, sweet fruit blossoms and a dampness, not unlike the smell of freshly cut grass. The deeper scents offered are slightly savoury, with aromas of garden herbs – thyme, rosemary and the mustiness of soil.
But it is in the mouth that this wine surprises and delights. They’re certainly not what I was expecting. A deliciously savoury hit to the wine arrests the tastebuds. It’s fuller of body than you might imagine from the colour and the nose – the savouriness of the herbs trickles into every corner of the palate and offers something both unusual and delightful. It’s fresh, though – aided by the slightly gaseous composition, but the earthy notes of fertile soil lend a real weight to the bottle.
All in all, this is a fantastic wine – one that punches well above its weight. The bottle was enjoyed with an unctuous pappardelle of fennel sausage and burrata, with fresh basil picking out the sweet, herbal aromas of the wine.
For more information on the vineyard, and for details of the composition, look here: Gozzelino Vini
And to leave you with something a little more enigmatic, have a read of this delightful legend of the infamous Bricco Lu:
“The Legend of the Bricco Lu”
“An unlucky young boy named Wimpy used to live in a farmhouse on the Bricco Lu (hilltop). He was deeply in love with Gentucca, a
beautiful girl. When His beloved had the right age to get married, there were many admirers.
The doubtful father summoned all the claimants to the daughter’s hand on the occasion of the Saint Lawrence’s festival in August, and he promised her in marriage to the boy who would have shown up with the best pair of oxen.
Since Poldo was poor and he did not know who to ask for help, he invoked the devil out of desperation – and he actually Appeared!
Once the deal was made, Poldo went to the festival showing the most beautiful pair of oxen yoked up to a red cart and holding a
“golden goad” in his hands. Poldo married Gentucca and brought her in His house on the Bricco Lu forgetting the sad deal he made
with the devil.
One year later, the night of Saint Lawrence the devil came back to demand Poldo’s soul.
The silence of the night was broken by a rumble and a chasm opened up swallowing Poldo, the bewitched oxen, the cart and the
Gentucca went crazy with sorrow and died, but the night of Saint Lawrence her embittered spirit always comes back
looking for the groom who was brought` away by the devil.”