Cascina Degli Ulivi &

Cascina Degli Ulivi 'IVAG' 2021

Regular price$30.00
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Press 4 White • June 2024 Direct Press Selection

Thank goodness for Cortese, which is the one of the best sources for inexpensive, crisp, refreshing white wine in Northern Italy. Cortese was gaining renown as the grape behind Gavi in the middle of the 20th century, but quality went steeply downhill in the 1970s and 80s as worldwide demand was met by loosening the regional regulations around yields and borders, letting the market be flooded with industrially made plonk. Most of the Gavi I first encountered was about as exciting as a free bag of pretzels on a three hour flight. After many years of fighting with the Gavi DOC, Ulivi gave up and simply flipped the letters: hence Ivag. It might be too much for the officials trying to protect the sleek Gavi brand, but this wine may provide the best way to peer into the historic soul of this region when it had a little more edge and attitude. A light touch of Brettanomyces is reflected in the gingersnappy, nutty bite of this wine. Almond skin and horehound notes dance around the core of soft Cortese fruit. There's always a tasty tension and primal thirst-quenching quality to this wine that goes right to your soul.

Stefano Bellotti of Cascina degli Ulivi was a big advocate for the potential of Gavi and he also found a path to organic Biodynamic farming by 1985, making him one of the most visible figures in the early world of natural wine and Biodynamics. After his death in 2018 his daughter Ilaria has taken over and the wines continue to showcase wild beauty. Jonathan Kemp

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