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When on the hunt for crisp everyday whites, it is natural to turn to appellations like Chablis, Mâcon, or Sancerre—the tried and true old reliables. But with yields down in Burgundy and prices for good Sancerre slowly creeping up, why not branch out and travel off the beaten path to find real value and experience new flavors?
That road leads right to Corte Gardoni, the Veneto farm run by the Piccoli family just south of Lake Garda. Founder Gianni Piccoli, who is all but retired and has handed the keys to the kingdom to his three sons, is something of a local legend. Having resisted the wave of globalization that saw native grape varieties uprooted in favor of international ones, this man is a hero to like-minded peers. And Gianni is an outlier in more ways than one: he has also proudly refused to raise his prices over the years, allowing us to continue offering his wines at bargain cost.
Piccoli’s Custoza is incredibly complete—it is hard to think of anything out of place or missing—spring-fresh bouquet, complex flavors, good body, pleasant acidity, and a stimulating finish. Garganega is the secret weapon in the blend, while a number of other local grapes combine to complete the experience. This charming little Venetian white will dance a jig along with any platter you place in front of it.
|Blend:||40% Garganega, 25% Trebbiano, 10% Trebbianello, 10% Cortese, 15% Other|
|Appellation:||Bianco di Custoza|
|Aging:||Several months of aging in stainless steel before bottling|
Giuseppe Quintarelli Italy | Veneto | Recioto della Valpolicella
Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.
Inspiring Thirst, page 312