Ercole Bianco del Monferrato
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Region: Piedmonte, Italy
Grape varieties: Cortese, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon, Blanc
Ercole Bianco del Monferrato is made from Cortese, which boasts a serious yet pleasing weight, pronounced minerality, and acidity.
Song: Acid Sweet Happening by Super Static Fever
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About Ercole Bianco del Monferrato
Ercole Bianco del Monferrato is made from the native grape variety Cortese, which boasts a serious yet pleasing weight, pronounced minerality, and beautiful acidity. In fact, the Cortese-based wines of Gavi are among the most treasured whites of Northern Italy. Adding a touch of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc further sharpens and thereby elevates this wine.
With a singular concentration on the Piedmont region of Italy, The Piedmont Guy has championed a select group of passionate winemaking families for nearly a decade. Now we add Ercole, a project aimed at honoring the work of the unsung heroes of Italy — the grape growers themselves.
Ercole, whose English translation is Hercules, is only made possible by a generations-old cooperative of local growers in the Monferrato area. Every fall, these men and women cultivate bright and balanced fruit, allowing us to make real wines that are transmitters of time and place.
The place, Monferrato, ranks among the most historic grape-growing areas of Piedmont. For that reason, we work primarily with Monferrato’s indigenous grape varieties. The fruit from this overlooked area gives us Ercole, a family of wines offering remarkable value. Enjoy these one-liter, screw-top bottlings unconditionally. Salute!
Cortese is a white grape variety most famously associated with the crisp, lime-scented wines of Gavi. The variety is known for its bracing acidity and its ability to retain freshness even when grown in warm environments. Apple, peach, and honeydew flavors are commonly associated with Cortese wine, with lime, almond, and light herbal or grassy aromas. There are around 2,950 hectares of the variety planted in Italy. Just under 90 percent of these are found in Piedmont (Piemonte).
The variety has been grown in the southeastern part of Piedmont for hundreds of years and is mentioned in documents that date back to the beginning of the 17th Century. It has long been considered as Piedmont’s finest white variety and is often credited with introducing the world to Italian white wine. Nowadays, however, it has been challenged for top billing by Arneis and Moscato d’Asti.
While Gavi wines are the grape’s most famous incarnation, a few varietal wines are made from Cortese in other parts of Piedmont, most notably Cortese dell’Alto Monferrato and Colli Tortonesi. It is also permitted as a varietal wine under the Piemonte DOC.