Monday, September 6, 2010


Prelius Vermentino

Another night, another family and friends gathering in northeastern Pennsylvania for my wife and me.  This dinner found us at Grico's  in Exeter, PA.  We were advised to grab one of the curtained, private booths, but they are best for smaller, more romantic tete-a-tetes.  Our party of six ended up in the Library Room, a private dining room in the front of the restaurant with pictures of books on the walls.
Owner/chef Pat Greenfield maintains quite a reputation in the Wyoming Valley and her restaurant is recommended by locals as a dining hotspot.  The food certainly deserves recognition.  It's good enough to keep people dining there for 75 years - much, much longer than she's been around.  The Grico's wine list showed plenty of imported - and expensive - choices by the bottle.  Maybe as a nod to the hard times the area has seen in recent years, there was a separate "20 Wines For Under $20" list.  That's $20 per bottle, by the way.  Our wine for the evening came from that list.
The Prelius estate is in Tuscany's hilly Maremma region.  The grapes are organically farmed and the estate has Merlot, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Vermentino growing in the sandy soil of a slope just two miles from the sea.
The Vermentino is only 13% abv, and is aged three months in the bottle.  A 100% varietal wine, it is very pale in color and has tons of minerals on the nose, along with a hint of sea shells.  Tropical notes dominate the palate and a bit of lemon zest adds a nice zing.  The acidity level is plenty high for food pairing, but maybe a little too high for sipping.  It matched quite nicely with my sea scallops.  Despite the acidic edge, the mouthfeel of this wine was actually somewhat creamy and full.

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