With all the over-the-top chardonnays on the market, it is refreshing to get reacquainted with an old friend like Pio Cesare’s Cortese di Gavi, 2007.

A generation ago, Gavi was the white wine of sophisticated palates. Gavi (the wine) is named for the small town, Gavi, where it originates.

Located in Italy’s Piedmont region, Gavi is a recent creation. The Cortese grape was originally used in local sparkling wines; after World War II, a still white wine was produced from it and named Gavi; fame and fortune followed.

However, fashion and fusion have not been kind to Gavi. Over the last 15 years, New World oak-aged chardonnay has been the rage. Chardonnay became Mr. Big of the wine world and mild mannered friends like Gavi were pushed aside. It’s time for a reappraisal. And there’s no better wine to do that with than Pio Cesare’s 2007, Cortese di Gavi.

Pio Cesare began producing Piedmont wines in 1881. Now under the direction of winemaker Pio Boffa, the great-grandson of Pio Cesare, the winery is making elegant and delicious wines.

While Pio Boffa has added a chardonnay to his portfolio of wines, it is the traditional wine style of Cortese di Gavi that reminds our palates why balance is prized.

Made only from the Cortese grape, Pio Boffa gently extracted the juice and fermented and aged the wine in stainless steel tanks.

Pour it into your glass and the pure white color gives no hint that you are about to inhale scents reminiscent of a bouquet of lilies or a freshly baked wedding cake.

Pleasure is not limited to the nose. The palate is caressed with a ripe melon fruit flavor and texture; its softness belies the acidity and mineral backbone of the wine.

The elegance of aromas, flavors, and texture of the 2007, Pio Cesare, Cortese di Gavi make returning to the glass habitual.

A generation ago, nearly every restaurant wine list featured Gavi. Than Tex-Mex; Asian-influenced Californian cuisine; and a contest among chefs to make the spiciest food arrived on the scene. Big, oaky chardonnay took over. The 2007, Pio Cesare, Cortese di Gavi makes you realize that big is not better.

I suggest pouring a glass of the 2007 Pio Cesare, Cortese di Gavi with the season’s fresh crabs or crab cakes; sliced New Jersey tomatoes with mozzarella cheese and garden basil; and grilled East Coast Halibut.

And when October and November arrive, treat yourself again; this time with a Piedmont specialty: saffron risotto matched with the 2007, Pio Cesare, Cortese di Gavi. That’s what old friends are for.

The 2007 Pio Cesare, Cortese di Gavi retails for approximately $22.