Nicola Bergaglio is one of the stauncher traditionalists in Gavi, and when someone mentioned that he was serving up a vertical at his stand in Vinitaly, I hurried over. No need for conversation with wines like these:
Nicola Bergaglio Minaia Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2005 Lot 120 06 Brassy gold with brilliant brassy reflections. The bouquet is intense, with berry fruit supported by acidity and minerality with some petroleum accents and a greenish spicy underpinning. Refreshing. On the palate it's bright, with lively lemony fruit supported by languid lemony acidity and some spice, and it flows into a clean bright citric finish with a tart underpinning. Elegant and very fresh, with lively bracing acidity that provides a nice counterpoint to the fruit, which is lemony bit also rather languid, and flows into a clean greenish finish with considerable lasting warmth. Quite pleasant and still very young. 91-2
Nicola Bergaglio Minaia Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2006 Lot 1507 Pale greenish brassy yellow with brilliant green reflections and brassy highlights. The bouquet is intense, and more herbal than that of the 05, with hints of butterscotch supported by vegetal acidity and in tense heather with a slight savory underpinning. On the palate it's ample and languid; it's considerably softer than the 05 though it does display pleasant lemony acidity and is supported by slight tannins from grape; it gives an impression of being from a warmer vintage and is graceful in an approachable key. I would serve it with grilled or roasted fish, or with cheese dishes. 88-90
Nicola Bergaglio Minaia Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2007 Lot 1308 Brilliant brassy gold with brassy reflections and white rim. The bouquet is intense, with elegant white berry fruit supported by lively berry fruit acidity and some mineral accents coupled with greenish notes and sea salt. Nice balance and pleasant to sniff. On the palate it's bright, with rich lemony fruit supported by deft lemon acidity that flows into a long tart citric finish with mineral accents. Quite pleasant; it's graceful and very fresh, with lively acidity, and will drink well with fried fish or meats, and also with egg or cheese based dishes. 90-91
Nicola Bergaglio Minaia Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2008 Lot 2009 Pale brassy white with greenish highlights. The bouquet is fairly intense, with bright lemony accents supported by heather and minerality and some underlying vegetal notes. On the palate it's bright, with lively lemon fruit supported by slight brambly accents and lively acidity that flow into a clean fresh slightly greenish finish that goes on and on. Quite pleasant, and will drink very well with grilled or fried fish or meats; it will also age nicely for a number of years. 88-90
Nicola Bergaglio Minaia Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2009 Lot 0510 Brassy yellow with brassy reflections and greenish gold highlights. The bouquet is fresh and rather young with vegetal notes and honeysuckle mingled with lively lemony fruit and though it is quick to write it also displays considerable harmony. On the palate it's ample and languid with elegant lemony fruit supported by moderately intense lemony acidity -- less than in the other vintages -- and some savory accents. It's a touch softer than its siblings, and not as bracing, and this is the heat of the 2009 summer at work. 2 stars
Nicola Bergaglio Minaia Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2010 Lot 0411 Brassy yellow with brilliant golden reflections and white rim. The bouquet is promising for a just-bottled wine, with greenish vegetal accents mingled with honeydew melon and some sour pineapple acidity. On the palate it's elegant, with lemon-laced honeydew melon supported by bright citric acidity that is quite long, and flows into a lengthy tart finish. Impressive for a freshly bottled wine,a nd I would expect it to improve markedly over the next months and years. 92
What to say? That Gavi can age very well, and that though the Italian restaurant crowd invariably asks for and pushes the most recent vintage, with Nicola Bergaglio's Gavi you'll be much happier if you give it more time. The 2005, after 6 years, was perfectly fresh and eminently drinkable, though it can also stand to age further, at least 3-4 more years and perhaps longer.
I finished with:
Nicola Bergaglio Gavi del Comune di Gavi DOCG 2010 This is their base wine; it's lively brassy gold with brilliant brassy reflections and some greenish highlights. The bouquet is delicate, with lemony fruit supported by floral accents and savory notes; it's quite refreshing, in a more direct key than the Minaia. On the palate it's ample with bright lemony fruit supported by lemony acidity that flows into a long citric finish. Very pleasant, and is clearly cut from the same cloth as Minaia, but just as clearly a lesser sibling. It will work very well with foods. 2 stars
NO STAR goes to wines that are correctly made but nothing to get excited about.
ONE STAR goes to wines that are good. TWO STARS go to wines that are very good to excellent. THREE STARS and a POINT SCORE (90-100) go to wines that are superb to extraordinary. And I will give pairing suggestions, which I consider much more important than the scores.