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jules2

Unless you have been to Liguria, on the Italian Riviera, you are unlikely to have sampled it’s wines. Mostly white (the climate is not always reliable enough for ripening reds) they are exceptionally wonderful, and Pigato is my favourite white grape of the moment – hence my Rivieran stripes.

Shiny yellow in colour with flashes of green, incredibly fresh with the scent and taste of peaches and roast almonds, this is just scrummy stuff. A superior relative of Vermentino – although less lean and austere – Pigato is sometimes referred to as “spotted Vermentino” due to the Mad Madam Mim-esque pink blemishes on its skin.

It has a long history in the region – although it’s origins are Greek – but relatively few examples are made. This is from Laura Aschero, a family owned and run estate that limits itself to a mere three varietal wines – two white and one red.

Bybo wine collection, Berwick Lodge, November 2013

Don’t chill it too much, perhaps 20 minutes at most, and serve it with a humble fish, wine and garlic soup, like the local Ligurian speciality Ciuppin.

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