I tend to buy my wine either online or from independent wine merchants so when we had to duck into Tesco for an emergency bottle of white wine on the way to a supper club in West London, I wasn’t holding my breath. My dining companion likes Italian whites and since the first course was going to be oysters on the half shell, we plumped for the Tesco’s Finest Gavi DOCG 2007.
Gavi comes from Piedmont and is made from the cortese grape. See, not only the French are tricky with their wine naming. Calling wines after the region rather then saying, this is a wine made from the cortese grape . Which is a shame as perhaps more people would buy these wines if they knew what they were exactly. Cortese is an indigenous grape to northern Italy and produces dry, well rounded whites that fit perfectly with seafood, especially oysters.
As I said, I don’t have much experience with Tesco wines so it was with some trepidation that I popped open the bottle, yes it had a cork closure, extra points for that, not that I don’t like screwcaps but there is something very satisfying about the quite sigh a bottle of wine makes when it’s opened properly. The room was a tad dark so it was difficult to tell the colour but it looked crystal clear and smelled fresh and clean. Tesco says it’s medium dry on the palate but I thought it was quite dry with ripe juicy citrus fruit notes to it. I think Tesco recommends it as medium dry because it’s so full of fruit but there was no residual sugar in here and in my book that does not count as a medium dry wine. It had a healthy steak of acidity to it and a pleasing minerality on the nose.
A well rounded, slightly fleshy wine, it really came alive when paired with the oysters! WOW! Tasting it was like taking a breath of sea breeze, I was instantly transported to Pismo Beach back home, a cool stiff breeze bringing the smells of wet rocks, sea salt and the iodine of seaweed. I could almost hear the seagulls. It was a taste explosion, the flavours of the oysters meshing perfectly with the minerality of the wine, the fruit taking a back seat but finishing off with a citrus twist. It could have been the lemon juice that I sprinkled on the oyster as well but I just found the two working perfectly in harmony.
So, I can say without reservation,that Tesco’s Finest Gavi really is quite good and I would buy it again without reservation. I’m still sceptical on their red wines but perhaps if you are willing to stretch beyond the £5 mark, you can find some good value wines. I’m not saying I’m going to start shopping at Tesco for my wines, I’m still loyal to the independents but in a pinch Tesco will do.
The Gavi retails for £6.64 at your local Tesco.