Favaro Erbaluce @Cotogna

I found this bottle on Cotogna’s wine list, in San Francisco.  Bravo!

There are wines that we defines, and wines that define us.

For me the Erbaluce from the Favaro winery in Caluso is the latter.  I met Camillo Favaro in 2006 when I was just beginning to find my way through the fascinating world of Italian wine. Erbaluce (“air-bah-loo-chay”), sounds so poetic, so foriegn and exotic.  A white wine from Piemonte, land of the Big Reds.

Camillo Favaro has a booming voice with a lyrical accent strictly from northern Piemonte.  Bright, sprightly eyes that dance when he talks about Erbaluce, or about his vineyards.  I remember shaking his hand and noticing how strong and capable they were.  This is a winemaker, and this is a farmer who makes wine.  I remember his big, open smile- the expression of a man who has discovered the universe has given him every opportunity to do what he loves.

David Scott and Camillo Favaro in Verona

David Scott and Camillo Favaro, deep in conversation at Vinitaly 2007.

Camillo Favaro’s Erbaluce was a lightening bolt- I tasted it at a point in my life when I don’t believe I had tasted many white wines that had left such an impression on me.  Favaro crafts a truly superior version of Erbaluce; full-bodied and still electric with acidity.  Weighty in the glass- oily even, but fresh and alive on the palate.  This wine has that waxy, lemon-oil and petroleum characteristic you find in the great Rieslings of the world.  It is also singularly itself- an ancient, traditional grape from an amazing place at in the foothills of the Piemontese mountains.

Joanie & Camillo

I was star-struck by this wine, won over by its minerality and unsuspecting charm.  I truly believe it was one of the wines that shaped my palate the most in those formative years.  I still drink it today, as often as I can find it.  More than that, I think this wine taught me to connect the great wines in my life with the people who make them.  There is happily, and unavoidably, a connection.

Grazie, Camillo.

About The Author

I love all things Italian: the beautiful country of Italia, the Italians themselves, the language, the food… and above all, I love Italian wine. The people I meet in my charmed life are fascinating, the wines are extraordinary. I needed a special place like this to write about them, and to remember them.

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4 Responses

  1. Michele

    On the nose immediate aromas of Meyer lemon, grape fruit and leafy aromatic herbs such as pineapple mint and basil, also mineral tones showing on a second note. Vibrant, fresh, sapid and crisp acidity make this wine a perfect paring with fatty fried fish such as trout….Trout fritters with basil aïoli….Yumm!!!

  2. Michele

    Roast a whole trout all the way trough, let it cool. Take the meat off (you can use the bones and head for fish stock for the eventual next seafood risotto course) and put it in a bowl with a small bunch of chopped chives, 1 small chopped shallots, sliced basil and Italian parley, some mayo to combine, salt and Tabasco and lemon juice or Dijon mustard to taste (a great addition wold also be chopped black olives or capers.) Add a little breadcrumb (not the ones from the blu tube please!) and leave covered in the fridge for at least one hour. Form them in to crab cake shapes, add breadcrumb on both sides and pan-fry them till golden. Serve with if any kind of sauce: garlic aïoli, roasted bell peppers blended with salt and vinegar, blended basil-parsley-anchovy and vinegar, blended whole lemon slices with basil sugar and salt ecc…ecc….


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