Along the Dora Baltea river in northwestern Piemonte is the town of Caluso, center for the Erbaluce di Caluso DOC. The eponymous grape, named for the goddess Albaluce, takes on a bright coppery hue in the slanting rays of harvest sunlight. The locals then refer to it as Uva Russia for its “roasted” appearance.
Orsolani’s “La Rustia” is incredibly refreshing, offering a high level of bracing citric-lime acidity complemented by a balancing smoothness. Floral and hay-like on the nose, its mellow flavors call to mind apricots, peaches, tropical melon, and even grapefruit. There’s a creamy background of honey without the expected sweetness. Another example, like Timorasso and Arneis, that interesting white wines can coexist in a region of high-powered, high-priced reds.