2023 Laura Aschero Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente


Current stock: 67

Wine professionals love to argue about Pigato, the very intriguing white grape indigenous to coastal LiguriaPigato is Vermentino many argue.  But ask any farmer working the steep, rocky slopes that loom over the ocean there and they’ll tell you there’s a big difference between the two.  In fact, many growers like the late Laura Aschero believe the two are distinctive enough to bottle both.  What we do know for sure is that both grapes relish their proximity to the sea and the best examples of both boast an almost salty quality that, when combined with the grapes’ delicate floral and herbal notes, can be magical.   In the Ligurian Riviera, both vines are planted on slopes where only the most intrepid farmers dare cultivate them- farmers like Marco Rizzo who, following his late mother Laura’s footsteps, has spent a generation refining the farming of the vines he found when he moved to his ancestral property.  In just a few short decades, his tiny family business (his wife Carla and daughter Bianca are now also involved) has turned into the premier producers of Vermentino and Pigato in Italy, and the Aschero wines are treasured the world-over for their beautiful expressions of their unique terroir.  The newly-arrived, fresh-off-the-boat 2023 Pigato is just a beautiful example of Pigato- or whatever grape it is- one of the most scintillating examples we’ve tried in years.  Here is a wine that will transport you to a wide loggia overlooking the Italian Riviera and cerulean Ligurian Sea itself.  It’s salinity is palpable, as are the wild herbs, bracken and flowers that are so much a part of the flora of this region.  The fruit is surprisingly rich for a wine so seemingly lean, and there are notes that are almost tropical, with hints of apricots and pineapple to go with its preserved lemon and verbena core.  Still, it’s the wine’s taut vibrancy and broad mineral-finish that makes this one of the world’s best seafood wines.  As you can imagine, oysters, mussels and the like are naturals, as is a whole grilled fish.  Stuff the cavity with fresh herbs like fennel and it’s an even better pairing.  Rich enough for richer fish like halibut and salmon too.  If you’ve been to Liguria, this will take you right back to those sights and smells.  If you’ve yet to have the pleasure, here’s a way to discover this most amazing part of the Italian coast without even having to leave your living room!  A definite winner no matter what you choose to complement, this is one of those a-ha Italian whites of which one can never have enough.  60 bottles only.