Liguria, where we spend a couple of weeks this summer, is a white wine country, with some exceptions, notably the Rossese, which will get its own post soon. The major grapes for producing white wines are Vermentino, Pigato and Bosco.
Vermentino is said to have originated in the Middle East and was brought by the Greeks to Liguria around the sixth century BC.
If you like Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, then Vermentino should be for you too. It has, in the best examples, a fresh acidity, a crisp yellow fruit character with a spicy element that is really enjoyable. Salivating, fresh and pure; when Vermentino is done right, it is a joy to drink. Especialy it you have a plate of calamari fritti right beside you!
And a bottle of Vermentino will not ruin you either, the Maria Donato Bianchi below, the best of the bunch, cost me 12 Euro.
Below are the Vermentino´s I tasted during the summer.
2010 Golfo Dei Poeti Bianco
A fine, low tuned nose with notes of summer flowers, dry honey, melon and some spices. A touch anonymous but nice enough.
The taste is fresh, light and salivating with notes of tea leaves, buttercup flowers, dry honey and some waxy elements. A fresh acidity. Very easy and gulpable.
82p (tasted 2012/07)
2011 Vermentino Vigna Sori, Poggio Dei Gorleri
A light, fresh, flowery nose with notes of cantaloupe melon, lemon, road dust and a fine spicyness. Medium deep. Fine and fresh.
The taste is cool, fresh and with more substance than the nose with notes of lemon, summer flowers, oranges, minerals and dried spices. A very fresh acidity. Very, very god.
88p (tasted 2012/07)
2010 Vermentino, Maria Donato Bianchi
A fine, medium deep, fresh nose with notes of ripe lemons, flint, dried apricots, banana peel and flowers. Very interesting and on its toes. Salivating. This har character and finesse.
The taste is racy, fresh and just lovely with cristal clear acidity and gorgeous fruit, in the shape of melon, lemon and yellow apples. Some grassy notes and minerals follows. This is a really fine bottle of wine.
91p (tasted 2012/07)
2010 Vermentino Serre, Lupi
A spicy, flinty, open nose with notes of lemon icecream, dried flowers, matchbox and some buttery notes. More opulent than the previous Vermentiono´s.
The taste is fresh, dry and pure with a nice body and notes of dried apricots, lime juice, dry honey and a buttery touch here as well. Medium long, dry finish. A good wine but it lacks a bit of nerve.
86p (tasted 2012/07)
2011 Vermentino, La Felce
A light, fresh and elusive nose with whiffs of lemon, minerals and dried flowers. Some serious swirling is needed to get some respons from this wine.
The taste is nice and fresh but there isn´t much more to it. Some notes of lemon, minerals and grass can be detected. Nothing wrong but nothing really right either.
76p (tasted 2012/08)
2009 Carlaz, Primaterra
This is something else! The nose is big, broad and mature with notes of moist forest floor, orange peel, dried apricots and a distinctive note of spontaneous fermented beer. Interesting but I don´t know if I like it that much.
The taste is big, tight and impressive with lots of yellow fruit - oranges, lemons and lime, with notes of moist earth, wet wool and a touch of wet dog. A tight structure. Good acidity. More interesting than good.
78p (tasted 2012/08)