2010 Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso "La Rustia"

Wine of the Week - Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso "La Rustia"

Erbaluce is a grape native to the northwestern part of Italy, and it grows especially well around the town of Caluso in the Alpine foothills. The soils of the region are high in acidity and the grape really thrives in these types of soils. Gianoluigi Orsolani and his father, Francesco have run this little operation since 1967, and they are one of just a handful of producers still working with Erbaluce. Thank goodness they are, because this is a very special wine………..so special in fact that it was the first Erbaluce to ever receive the coveted Tre Bicchieri award from Gambero Rosso, which is essentially the equivalent of receiving a 95+ point score from one of the major U.S. wine journals.

“La Rustia” means the “roasted” slopes in the local Piemontese dialect, a reference to the vineyard’s ideal location for maximum sun exposure. Fermented entirely in stainless steel, this is a complex white wine with lovely layers of peach, melon, grapefruit and citrus followed by intriguing notes of essential oils, sage, lavender, and flowers. It is dry and zippy and would taste really good with a lemon roasted chicken or with a wide variety of seafood. You should try a bottle, as this is the estate’s top bottling. We also stock the estate’s entry-level Erbaluce, which comes in a liter bottle for just $17.99.