Showing posts with label Sardegna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sardegna. Show all posts

Monday, April 5, 2021

Two Sardinian Vermentino Wines

A recent series of virtual wine tasting experiences took a host of wine writers on a trip through Italy, thanks to Gambero Rosso International.  The wine guide provided wines for the tasting to which they awarded the status of Tre Bicchieri, or three glasses, their highest honor.  Today, two fabulous Vermentino wines from the Italian isle of Sardinia.

Pala Vermentino di Sardegna Stellato 2019

The Sardinia Pala wine estate was founded in 1950.  Mario Pala is the third generation of the family to tend the vines, with the help of his wife Rita and the fourth generation of the family: Massimiliano, Elisabetta and Mariantonietta.

The Vermentino grapes for this wine were grown in a single 60-year-old vineyard.  The wine was fermented in steel and aged there for five months on the lees, the spent yeast cells.  This gives additional heft to the wine and a fuller mouthfeel.  Alcohol gets up to 14% abv and the wine sells for and average price of $18.

This Vermentino delivers what I love about the grape, especially those from Sardinia.  It is a smell that is more than simple salinity, it is the ocean.  With flowers floating on it.  The palate brings a savory smattering of citrus, along with a gentle acidity that lets us know that it is there without ripping a gash in our tongues.  Seafood time.


Surrau Vermentino di Gallura Superiore Sciala
2019

Vigna Surrau is also located on the Italian island of Sardinia - Sardegna, if you prefer.  The isle is mainly mountainous, and the winery says there is plenty of unspoiled wilderness and forests of oak and cork trees.  

Their 2019 Vermentino di Gallura Superiore Sciala comes from Sardinia's jagged coastline, the part in the island's northeast corner, called Costa Smeralda - the Emerald Coast.  Gallura - which means "stony area" - is the first and only Sardinian DOCG.  The 100% Vermentino grapes were grown in that region's granitic soil.  Alcohol tips 14% abv and the average price for a bottle is $24.

This wine has a floral nose, but that does not shortchange the minerality.  There is a good bit of lemon and salinity in the mix, too.  The palate shows the citrus and minerals strongest, with a very nice bit of acidity.  Extremely nice, actually.  I should have had some seafood with it, but it was cream of mushroom soup day at the house, with some rice on the side.  It paired quite well.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Two Vermentinos


Wine made from the Vermentino grape is one of the more refreshing experiences in life.  Often a Vermentino wine will come from the Italian island of Sardegna - or Sardinia - but the grape is also cultivated elsewhere, like in France, California and Virginia.  Vermentino has been found through its DNA to be identical to the Pigato grape in Liguria and the Favoria in Piedmont.  

There are few true Italian grape varieties planted on Sardegna, and Vermentino is one of the few.  The grape varieties found on the island tend to be those with more of a tie to France or Spain - Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malvasia and Bobal are plentiful, as is Cannonau, a Grenache clone.

A new restaurant in Los Angeles - Gusto, on 3rd near the Beverly Center - specializes in homestyle Italian with wines to match.  Chef Victor Casanova says the place is designed as a "cool neighborhood joint with an informal vibe and intoxicating aromas," and he has succeeded in those efforts.

Gusto has a nice wine list, too.  It’s tidy and well-stocked with good Italian choices.  I had the Villa Solais Vermentino, from Sardegna, with my meal.  The golden color is lovely and the nose - rather than being all about the aromas of the ocean, also shows traces of wood and an herbal note that is intriguing.  The wine has a great acidity - great with food - but it also feels somewhat full and creamy in the mouth.  It’s $8 by the glass.

We had appetizers of tomatoes stuffed with burrata and fried squash blossoms stuffed with cheese, followed by the roasted chicken and a side of rosemary potatoes.  The freshness of the food is simply amazing - Gusto instantly became our favorite Italian food in Los Angeles.

The Vermentino, unfortunately, did not hit the mark for Denise with the tomatoes - a little too much acidity in that mouthful - but it was excellent with squash, the chicken and the potatoes.

Some Vermentino was poured in Las Vegas, too, at the Terra Rosso restaurant at Red Rock Resort.  The Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Vermentino is part of the Antinori wine group.  It comes from the Guado al Tasso estate on the Tuscan coast .  The wine is vinified in stainless steel tanks.

The pale straw color tips me off to the fact that it might be a stainless steel wine, since wood usually imparts more of a golden shade in a white wine.  Smelling the wine offers that wonderful “oceanesque” salinity, but there’s also a nice presence of apricots here.  The acidity level is wonderful, and it feels vibrant in my mouth.

It would have been a better match with seafood, but it did alright with the late-night snack of arancini bolognese - fried, mozzarella-stuffed risotto.


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Saturday, July 24, 2010

SELLA AND MOSCA LA CALA VERMENTINO 2006, SARDEGNA


Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino

There are some pretty good options from which to choose in Los Angeles when I want to take my Italian-heritage wife for a birthday-month lunch.  For this outing, I opted for one of our favorite spots, Il Buco on Robertson in Beverly Hills.
For one thing, they treat us like it's our birthday every time we dine there.  For another, the food's great.  Also, they have a pretty decent Italian wine list.  Okay, that last one was on my side of the checklist.  It still counts.  A shrimp salad for the lady, I'll have the chopped, and a glass of Vermentino.
Sella and Mosca is a pretty big deal on the isle of Sardegna - Sardinia, if you prefer.  Their property contains a 1,600-acre estate just inland about four miles.  Their La Cala Vermentino is one of the prizes of the island and is exactly what I look for in this special grape.
La Cala is named for a small cove on the edge of the estate, and it's a natural to pair with seafood thanks to the slight saltiness in the wine.  You can thank the Mediterranean Sea for that.
This 100% Vermentino white is a pale, greenish straw color in the glass.  It delivers a soft nose of grassy salt air and lemons.  There's an alcohol content of 11.5% abv, and it serves up a bracing palate of minerals and tart lemon zest with a nice acidity that lies just beneath the surface.  It's a really good buy at $8 a glass.
It paired well with the shrimp, but also fit nicely with my meatless salad.  It does something good with the garbanzo beans in the chop.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Santadi Vermentino 2008

Denise and I recently had lunch with our friend Guido at Sprazzo on Westwood Boulevard.  Well, that was the plan, anyway.  The wires got a little crossed, and when Guido didn't show in his usual timely manner, we started without him.  Guido arrived about the time we were getting up to leave, so we hung around and watched him eat a Caesar salad.   It worked out fine for me - I got to have lunch with my wife, visit with our pal, and have one of my favorite Italian grapes.

Vermentino is a specialty of the island of Sardegna, and Santadi is a winemaker's co-op there.  The wine is a beautiful golden color with a greenish tint.  It looks wonderful in the glass.  It smells great, too.  There's a floral scent that is laced with an overriding minerality, sort of like flowers that have been trod into some wet rocks.  Pears and melons are on the palate, but again it's the minerals you really notice.  The taste is almost salty or briny.  Perhaps that's only to be expected from grapes grown in Sardinia.  Their seafood staples are a natural match for this wine.  I had it with a salmon salad but would imagine it's even better with marinated calimari or scungilli.

If you've never tried a Vermentino with seafood, you really should do yourself a favor.  You'll be pleased.

Winemaker:  Cantina Santadi
Appellation:  Italy > Sardinia > Vermentino Di Sardinia
Vintage:  2008
Cost:  $11 per glass at Sprazzo
Acquisition disclaimer:  Purchased by the author