Sunday, March 21, 2021

Michele Chiarlo Gavi with Grilled Chicken Caprese

Spring is upon us as I slowly start to gravitate towards choosing a white wine over red some evenings.  Today the focus is on one of Italy’s top whites, Gavi, made from one of Piedmont’s respected producers, Michele Chiarlo.  Gavi, located in the Alessandria province, is situated in the northwestern wine region of Piedmont where it is tucked in the southereastern corner very close to Liguria and the port of Genova.  With its close proximity to both the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Alps these varying landscapes are major influences on Gavi’s wine production. 

The Winery ~ Michele Chiarlo 

This is not Michele Chiarlo’s first appearance on Vino Travels as I have featured them not too long ago talking about sustainability at the forefront at the winery.  Michele Chiarlo is a well-established name in the Piedmont wine region.  They were established in 1956 and own about 270 acres between the areas of Langhe, Monferrato and Gavi.  Their focus is only on indigenous grapes and in Piedmont there are plenty to work with.  They also don’t blend any of their grapes either.   

Today the winery is operated by the 4th generation of family members that are staying true to tradition, but also focusing on innovation while expressing their authenticity paying close attention to the environment with much manual care.   

The Grape ~ Cortese 

Gavi, also known as Cortese di Gavi, is named after the town itself and includes a number of surrounding communes located in the hills.  It is made from the Cortese grape, which is a highly productive, high acid grape.  Its home is in Piedmont where it grows in the mineral rich soils and high sunshine area where it thrives.  Gavi became a DOC in 1974 and was promoted up to DOCG in 1998.  It produces wines that are dry, low alcohol, crisp, fresh and lively that deliver floral, aromatic wines.  You’ll find notes of peach, pears, lemon/citrus and almonds.         

The Wine 

2017 Michele Chiarlo “Palas” Gavi DOCG – This wine is made from 100% Cortese on white calcareous soil.  The grapes are softly pressed where it spends a minimum of 3 months in stainless steel.  Straw colored with golden highlights.  Mostly citrus on the nose showing lemon and grapefruit with some green apple and wet stone.  Dry, medium bodied with refreshing acidity.  Pineapple and green apple on the palette with some minerality showing towards the finish.  With an SRP at $10-12 a bottle you can beat the value of this wine.   ABV 12.5%  

2017 Michele Chiarlo Palas Gavi

This wine paired lovely with a simple grilled chicken caprese topped with sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and a drizzle of authentic balsamic vinegar from Modena.  It made me crave for warm days on the patio that lie ahead.  Here’s to the warm days of spring and summer approaching quickly where we can all get back outside for some rays of sunshine.  

Grilled chicken caprese


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