I’m finding that a lot of our unusual or “un-heard-of” varietals are Italian! Cortese (pronounced core-tay-zay) is an Italian white wine grape grown primarily in the Piedmont region. It’s typically used as a blending grape as its sensitive growing nature makes refinement for a single-varietal wine challenging for winemakers.
I tasted this wine on a Sunday afternoon from my front porch with neighbors while watching our kids play in the water table. That may be my favorite setting for tasting wine. The color was a pretty, light yellow – which honestly I only observed while pouring into my stainless steel Brumate wine cup – yup, that’s typically what I drink from when I’m on the porch. The aromas were of fresh apple juice – a little tang, but mostly apple. The taste really threw me through a loop. This was one of those wines that took about 10 minutes to really figure out the flavors. The first thing that came to mind was “green” and that was the only word I could use to describe it. But, with time and more tastes, I refined “green” to “herbs and grass”.
Upon further research after tasting this wine, I discovered that Cortese is known lime, herbal and grassy aromas and flavors. This was absolutely present in the taste – not as much in the aromas.
Personally, I really enjoy more citrus, tropical fruit or floral flavors in my wine but this was a nice experience. The Cortese was a good wine, just not my preference in white wines. If you’re participating in the 52 Weeks of Wine Training Program, I’m interested to hear what you thought about this varietal!
This 2017 La Scolca Gavi Di Gavi White Label Cortese retails for $13-20 a bottle. I gave it a 3 out of 5 cork rating.