“Vent’Anni”, Prié Blanc
In 1993, Ermes Pavese made the bold decision—still uncommon in this corner of the Valle d’Aosta—to begin bottling his own wine rather than selling off the fruit from his tiny then-two-hectare farm to the local co-operative. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of that fortuitous moment, the family held back a portion of their 2013 production to be released later as a library wine, and we are now the lucky recipients of a pristinely aged Prié Blanc from Ermes’s meticulously tended extreme-altitude vineyards. Prié with a bit of bottle age begins to round out, although its rapier-like acidity remains the wine’s predominant structural element, and the fruit undergoes a Riesling-esque transformation into gentle petrol. With this 2013, a gunflint-like smoke—always a terroir marker in Blanc de Morgex—has taken center stage, relegating the savory citrus and stone fruits to a background role, but the wine remains scintillating and exuberantly energetic.