In a nutshell: A great fruity fizz from Piedmont in Italy with a whole host of enticing aromas.
The lowdown: Sparkling Gavi is not seen so often as other types of Italian fizz, which is is a shame, because the grape variety it's made from, Cortese, is well suited to this style and deserves to be better known. It's made from 35 year old vines which are harvested slightly earlier than the main crop which needs a little extra ripening for making still wines. It has an enticing nose of crystallised ginger, citrus, apple, jasmine and a hint of spice and a delicate palate is rich with citrus and ripe apricot flavours. The mouthfeel is luxuriantly creamy and the finish dry and refreshing finish.
When to drink: A splendid alternative to the ubiquitous prosecco, it makes an excellent aperitif with a sensible price tag.
Acquired by the leading Piedmont producer Araldica in 2002 the La Battistina estate is located between the towns of Novi Ligure and Gavi itself and consists of 26 hectares of mature vineyard including 5 hectares in Gavi del Comune di Gavi. And along with the neighbouring estate of La Lancellotta, from where grapes are also sourced for their wines they are considered among the best sites in Gavi.
The estate consists of eight separate vineyard plots along one prime south-facing slope - the distinct areas producing very different wines. The vineyard has a unique combination of limestone and clay soil which allows full ripening of the local Cortese grape. This, together with vines of average age 35 years, gives complexity and weight to what is one of Italy's most fashionable white wines.
The majority of grapes go to produce the unoaked 'La Battistina', while 'Nuovo Quadro' comes from a small, plot at the foot of the Battistina hill which lies within the Comune di Gavi sub-zone.
The 'La Battistina' range is produced by the Araldica winemaking team, overseen by Claudio Manera and Lella Burdese's son Carlo.