Wine Review: Coppo, Gavi “La Rocca” DOCG

Disclaimer: this review is of a sample that I received from the producer’s US importer. My review has been conducted in compliance with my Samples Policy and the ISA wine tasting protocol and the opinions I am going to share on the wine are my own.

The white wine that we will review today is a Gavi (an appellation in the southern part of Italy’s Piemonte region) made by Italian producer Coppo from Cortese grapes, namely CoppoGavi “La Rocca” 2011 DOCG ($17).

The Bottom Line

Overall, honestly I was not particularly impressed by this Gavi, but it did not disappoint either: I wish its bouquet and mouth flavors showed more complexity and the wine a bit more personality, but it is still an enjoyable (if very focused), “easy to drink” white wine, with lively acidity and tastiness. In my view, it is not a show stopper, but at a retail price of about $17, it may be an option worth bearing in mind.

Rating: Fairly Good Fairly Good – $

(Explanation of our Rating and Pricing Systems)

About the Grape and the Appellation

1. The Grape. Cortese is an indigenous Italian white-berried grape variety whose first documented mention dates back to 1614 in Italy’s Piemonte region.

Nowadays, it is mostly grown in the area surrounding the towns of Asti and Alessandria (in south-eastern Piemonte), where it especially is the only grape variety allowed by the Gavi (or Cortese di Gavi) DOCG appellation. Cortese generally makes wines with rather neutral aromas and good acidity.

(Information on the grape variety taken from Wine Grapes, by Robinson-Harding-Vouillamoz, Allen Lane 2012 – for more information about grape varieties, check out our Grape Variety Archive)

2. The Appellation. The Gavi (AKA Cortese di Gavi) appellation was created in 1974 as a DOC and was upgraded to DOCG status in 1998. Gavi DOCG encompasses the territory surrounding the town of Gavi (near Alessandria) and certain other neighboring small towns. The appellation rules require that the wines be made exclusively from Cortese grapes and that “Gavi Riserva” wines be aged for a minimum of 12 months (of which at least 6 in wood barrels), and “Gavi Spumante” wines be aged for a minimum of 24 months (of which at least 18 on their lees).

About the Producer and the Estate

You may find information regarding the producer, Coppo, and the estate in the first post of this series of reviews of the Coppo lineup.

Our Detailed Review

The wine that we are going to review today is CoppoGavi “La Rocca” 2011 DOCG.

The 2011 La Rocca was 12.5% ABV and was made out of 100% Cortese grapes harvested from Coppo’s vineyards in Monterotondo di Gavi (near the town of Alessandria).

The must fermented for 20 days at 59F/15C in stainless steel vessels, with no malolactic fermentation. The wine then rested for 2 months in steel vats, plus three additional months in bottle before becoming available for sale. It is a wine that is intended for immediate consumption, not for cellaring. The Gavi La Rocca retails in the US for about $17.

As usual, for my review I will use a simplified version of the ISA wine tasting protocol that we described in a previous post: should you have doubts as to any of the terms used below please refer to that post for a refresher.

In the glass, the wine poured straw yellow and moderately thick when swirled.

On the nose, the bouquet was intensenarrow and quite fine, with aromas of peach and citrus.

In the mouth, the wine was dry, quite warm, smooth; fresh and tasty. It was balanced and medium-bodied, with intense and fine mouth flavors of citrus and peach and mineral notes. The finish was quite long and the evolutionary state was mature (meaning, drink it now, it will not benefit from cellaring).


10 thoughts on “Wine Review: Coppo, Gavi “La Rocca” DOCG

  1. Just Add Attitude

    Honest reviews are always, I think, best Stefano. There’s such a vast amount of vinous choice out there that it’s always good to read independent reviews, from a trusted source, of a wine before ‘investing’ in a bottle even if it is only costs $17 .

    Hope that you are well. 😉

    Best wishes B

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, dear B: I think so too. I think that, while always respectful of the hard work that every serious producer puts into making their wines, a reviewer needs to be transparent and open in terms of sharing what he/she thinks of a wine that he/she tasted – just like you said, even it is “only” $17 a bottle. It is just a question of principle, I believe.
      Thank you very much for your always thoughtful comments. 🙂
      All the best!

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Heather! I think you are right: that’s a feeling that we have all experienced in our wine tastings, but think about it: the good thing is that, if you experienced it, it means that you had good wine to base your comparative assessment on, and that is a good thing in and of itself! 😉

  2. ChgoJohn

    I’ve had much worse wine and paid more for it. Much like what your first commenter stated, with so many wines from which to choose, I’ll skip this one in favor of one of the others that you’ve reviewed more favorably.

  3. laurasmess

    This sounds like a great wine for summer days in the sunshine, particularly for the lower price range… easy drinking! I love the fact that you’re so honest and objective in these reviews Stefano. You were very fair 🙂

    1. Stefano Post author

      Hey, good to “see” you! 🙂 Thanks for your comment, Laura. I think you are absolutely right: this would be a good wine to have on a summer day on a veranda when you are not seeking complexity, but just a simple and refreshing white. And yes, I try to be as objective and straightforward as I can in my reviews, otherwise what’s the point, tight? 😉
      Oh, BTW: I have had Mother’s Milk, Fifty Fifty and Two Percent and will start working on my review soon! 🙂

      1. laurasmess

        Oh, I’m looking forward to hearing your views on the Australian wine… I’m wondering how different the varieties must be to European wines (which I admit I haven’t tried much of, other than some German white wines and Spanish red varieties). I’ve started to appreciate Argentinean Malbec in recent months too! 🙂

      2. Stefano Post author

        Ha! Stay tuned as my review of all three wines will come up over the weekend or on Monday at the latest! I don’t want to spoil it, but… I am excited! We’ll “talk” about it more when the post goes live. 🙂 Regarding varieties from different countries for you to try… Italy is definitely missing from your list! Time to rectify that! 😉
        Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

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