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.

Coppo, Gavi "La Rocca" DOCGThe 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).

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0 thoughts on “Wine Review: Coppo, Gavi "La Rocca" DOCG

  1. apuginthekitchen

    I love your reviews, you are always honest and straightforward. I agree with Just Add Attitude there are so many wines out there I have come to depend on you and others as a trusted source for my wine consumption. ‘Thank you for another great review. I would drink this wine, wouldn’t seek it out but would enjoy a glass if presented.

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you very much, Suzanne: I try to be as objective and straightforward as possible in my reviews, otherwise I think they would be kind of pointless.
      And I think your conclusion is spot on: while it is certainly not a bad wine and there can be occasions that are absolutely right for enjoying it, in my view it is not a wine that I would go great lengths in the effort to seek out, as you rightly said. 🙂

  2. Tracy Lee Karner

    That’s why I trust your reviews.

    I suppose this would do if there was nothing better in the store, or if I was trying to join the Century club and I needed to taste a Cortese.

    But I want a $17 bottle of wine to be better than “not impressive but not disappointing.” Maybe I’m being unrealistic?

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Tracy.

      I think that, while I always strive to be mindful and respectful of the work and investment that go into the production of every serious wine out there, I also need to be honest with my readers. If I had bought this bottle, I would not have reviewed it, but since I received it as a sample, I think I need to review it and share my opinion – otherwise it would kind of defeat the whole purpose of being sent samples to review, would it not? And honestly, how credible would a series of reviews of the entire lineup of a winery be if they were all like “awesome”, “gorgeous”, “I can’t have enough of this”, and so on? I absolutely LOVE Coppo’s Barbera Pomorosso and I like other of their wines that I have already reviewed – this one? Personally, I was just not impressed.

      And to your last point, no, I don’t think you are unrealistic in the least! To give you an example in point: remaining in the same price range as this Gavi and sticking to a white wine, I would not hesitate one second to buy Frecobaldi’s Vermentino Ammiraglia that I reviewed a while ago, which retails for $18 ( True, it is somewhat of an unfair comparison because they are different wines, made from different varieties grown in different regions, but from a consumer perspective, if I were given the choice between the two bottles, that’s where I would put my money. 🙂

      1. Tracy Lee Karner

        This is the thing–based on your recommendation, that’s where I’d put my money, too (on the Frecobaldi). I no longer read the “important” review venues, because I don’t trust that they are not influenced by their advertisers. How could they not be influenced by, and partial to, their source of funding? But, I really don’t have the time, energy, or will to sample EVERYTHING in order to come to my own conclusions, so I choose to rely on the few tasters I personally trust (you, for example).

  3. 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!