Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pigato Bianco 2004 - Colle Dei Bardellini (IM)

Great destinations are the sum of the local experience. It may be the food, the wine, the people, great service, an unusual and unique location, or a feeling of general well-being. Liguria is my favorite place to live in Italy. It is close enough to Milan for work while the climate is beautiful and then there is the sea. The turquoise color water, the cool breeze year round and the small towns built on the cliffs that seem to fall into the sea.

One of the things I do not associate with Liguria, is wine. Liguria is located south of Piemonte and west of Tuscany. You would think that there would be the best of both worlds. I already know that some will immediately talk about Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. I will not comment on Santa Margherita because I only write about things I like. To the west of Genova there are several vineyards growing the Piemontese Nebbiolo and to the east the Sangiovese from Tuscany. They are ok and with a hearty dish can be appropriate for a table wine, but when I am in Liguria I drink only whites.

It just seems more appropriate to drink white with the cucina Ligure. Whether the meal is Pesto or some great fish based meal, the Heirloom wine from Liguria seems appropriate. Pigato is my choice. Liguria, primarily, produces two whites, Vermentino, which is most often associated with Sardegna, and Pigato. Pigato is not well known and most likely if you see it on the wine list you will not recognize it but this heirloom vine is as unique as it is rare.

The other day was my birthday and Raffaella prepared Ravioli of Asparagus and Chicken in a velvet tomato sauce, an exclusive dish, originally made famous by Angelo Paracucchi and his restaurant in the province of La Spezia, but derived from a local Ligura recipe. We had a couple of bottles of Pigato Bianco 2004 by Colle Dei Bardellini in the cellar, the perfect wine for this traditional dish.

Pigato is a close cousin, perhaps sibling, of the Vermentino grape. It is believed that the vine was introduced into the area surrounding Savona in the 1600s. It is grown only in this limited area and takes its name from the rust colored spots that form on the grape just before harvest. A perfect compliment for numerous dishes including: Mushrooms salads, Stuffed Onions, Crespelle with Mushrooms, Onion Soup, Fresh Pasta or Gnocchi dishes with Pesto, Pasta or Risotto with Mushroom, Shrimp and fish.

Pigato is a dry white wine with a slight acidity but still encompassing leaving an aftertaste of citrus and honeysuckle. While I would not drink this as a standalone it would be a good match for Focaccia Genovese.

Grape: Pigato – Up to 5% can be another white grape as long as it is grown in the same vineyard.

Color: Hay yellow.

Bouquet: Fruity, dominated by apricots and peaches.

Taste: Dry but soft and encompassing. A hint of citrus and peaches followed by a mild but persistent flavor or honey and sage.

Alcohol Content: Minimum 11 %

Serving Temperature: 10-12 c.

Decanting: None.

Pouring: Pour slowly with a 15-20 degree inclination.

Glass: White wine glass.

Aging: Not applicable.

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2 Comments:

Blogger RennyBA said...

You know I love to read your post with all its informative details and this was no exception. The Pigato vine sounds lovely - have to check if I can get it in the liquor store in Norway!
Btw; even if a bit late: Happy Birthday!

2:41 PM

 
Blogger Travel Italy said...

Renny Thanks!

I always try to talk about things that are not common knowledge. I really liked your last post.

2:56 PM

 

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