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"That Useful Wine Site"
The Vermentino Grape

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About Vermentino

(Synonyms: Agostenga, Agostenga blanc, Brustiano, Brustiano di Corsica, Carbes, Carbesso, Favorita, Favorita bianca, Favorita Bianca di Conegliano, Favorita d'Alba, Favorita di Alba, Favorita di Conegliano, Formentino, Fourmentin, Garbesso, Grosse Clarette, Malvasia a Bonifacio, Malvasia Grossa, Malvasie, Malvoisie, Malvoisie è Gros Grains, Malvoisie Corse, Malvoisie de Corse, Malvoisie Précoce d'Espagne, Piccabon, Piga, Pigato, Rolle, Rossese, Sibirkovski, Uva Sapaiola, Uva Vermentino, Valentin, Varlentin, Varresana bianca, Vennentino, Verlantin, Vermentini, Vermentino bianco, Vermentino Pigato, Vermentinu)


Vermentino grapes
Map showing Italy, highlighting Sardinia

Vermentino is a white-wine grape originating in Italy, though where exactly would now be hard to say. As you can see above, Vermentino goes by many synonyms, but the principal ones (because nontrivial amounts of Vermentino wine are so labelled) are Pigato, Rolle, and Favorita. There is also some conjecture that Vermentino may be a relative of the large Malvasia family of grape types, while others speak of relations with Hungary's Furmint. (Some even confidentally assert that the grape came in from Spain, though there is no history or analogue there for these wines.)

Map showing the Piedmont region of Italy
The Piedmont
Map showing the Liguria region of Italy

Vermentino is grown today in many parts of Italy; the variety "Pigato" (long thought to be a distinct grape, but DNA analysis says otherwise) is found mainly in the Liguria region, while as "Favorita" (also long thought a distinct variety) it occurs in the Piedmont region. As "Rolle", it is grown to some extent in France. It is also now grown in the New World—notably in many states of the U.S. and in Australia. Of the many locales in which it is grown, it is the isle of Sardinia whose Vermentino wines arguably lead the pack in esteem, most especially wines from the DOCG area Vermentino di Gallura (which includes the Vermentino di Gallura Superiore DOCG).

The wines Vermentino makes are noted for aromas and flavors of citrus and tree fruit plus minerality; the wines have a relatively low alcohol content, a medium body, and distinct acidity; some are vinified for crispness, but others can achieve substantial complexity and a sense of richness. It is one of those whites whose nose initially suggests an off-dry wine, but there is typically no residual sugar in Vermentinos. (Though in some regions it is vinified as a specialty sweet wine, Cinque Terre Sciacchetra.) The wines are normally made unoaked.

As eminent wine writer Jancis Robinson puts it, "Body, acid, and perfume are its hallmarks, a good combination." Vermentino is often said to be a good vehicle for manifesting terroir, that elusive quality—or set of qualities—deriving from the exact spot where it is grown. The wine is not noted for aging potential, and so is best drunk young, perhaps within a year or two after the vintage date.

Factoid: Despite near-universal recommendations to drink Vermentino young, some bottlings can, after a few years, acquire a sort of pine-y or resinous quality that some find atrtractive (though others do not).

Some Descriptions of Vermentino Wines

  • Wine Searcher

    "Vermentino wines, Pigato wines, Favorita wines and Rolle wines have a lot in common, most obviously their refreshing acidity and attractive aromas of peach, lemon peel, dried herbs and a whiff of saline minerality."

  • Jancis Robinson

    "In his presentation at [November 2011's] WineFuture conference in Hong Kong, British wine writer Steven Spurrier was asked to nominate the grape variety of the future and chose the Italian light-skinned Vermentino. While I have never had a truly great, long-aged example, I can quite see the appeal of young Vermentinos, virtually all of which exhibit the racy, citrus, often mineral and sometimes marine character of refreshing dry wine, usually unoaked and moderate in alcohol. This is a quintessentially Mediterranean grape variety, retaining its acidity well even in relatively warm regions. It is the dominant white wine grape of Sardinia and Corsica and generally straddles France and Italy . . ."

  • Eric Asimov, The New York Times

    "[I]t has much to offer, whether as a crisp, tangy accompaniment to seafood — fritto misto would be ideal — or as a richer, more complex wine with a distinctively oily sort of texture. . . Vermentinos are generally made to be consumed while they still retain their youthful vitality, that is, in the year or two after the vintage. Yet, interesting things can happen with a couple of years of bottle age. . . The wine panel confirmed that vermentino has much to offer, whether as a crisp, tangy accompaniment to seafood — fritto misto would be ideal — or as a richer, more complex wine with a distinctively oily sort of texture."

  • Italianicious

    "Think citrus freshness, limes, preserved lemon, green apple, peaches and racy acidity, combined with a robust structure, sometimes a salty tang, with a lovely mouth filling fruitiness and a bitter almond finish that is typically Italian. Varietal Vermentino can be big, ripe and full flavoured or leaner and crisper in style. It doesn’t need aging and has personality and texture when young. . . In Sardinia it is often picked early to retain those acid levels, sometimes at the expense of flavour and richness, or left on the vine to produce a higher alcohol wine. But, whatever the stylistic choices of the producer, it offers an appealing alternative to Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc for perfect summer drinking."

  • Tablas Creek Winery

    "Although it is currently grown in several countries around the Mediterranean, its best known examples come from northern Italy (particularly in the region of Liguria) and the island of Sardinia, where the wines are crisp, citrusy and generally unoaked. It is also the most widely planted white grape on the island of Corsica, where high altitude and hot climate vineyards produce more full-bodied wines with heady floral aromas. On the French mainland (where the grape is known as Rolle), it is found in Côtes de Provence and, increasingly, in Languedoc."

  • Uvaggio Winery

    "[S]ubtle floral and fruity aromatics, with an effusive flavor profile hinting at sweet but devoid of any residual sugar. "

  • Lettie Teague, Wall Street Journal

    "[This] bright, zippy white gets my vote as the most Mediterranean wine in the world. . . In fact, affordability is one of Vermentino's great charms. . . At the end of my tasting, I couldn't help wondering why Vermentino was still so obscure. It's not only delicious and accessible but also reasonably priced and easy to pronounce. Its bright acidity and citrusy flavors were perfect for summer."

  • Olly Smith, Mail Online

    "Vermentino is a dazzling white grape with bright flavours that shine – and with prices on something of a charm offensive, there’s a chance it may match the runaway success of Pinot Grigio. . . Vermentino always lurks behind Pinot Grigio, but in its own right it’s a gently aromatic white that can be as scented as lemon blossom and as bracing as the sea breeze. If you’re already a fan of unoaked fresh Italian whites, it should rule your shopping list."

  • Jon Bonné, SFGate

    "As white grapes go, it never seems to lose its character. It is sunny yet almost never flabby, fresh but not bony. It thrives in the heat. . . All this underscores its chief virtue: It has the verdant aspect so key to white wine, yet it doesn't fall down the Sauvignon Blanc rabbit hole. At its best, it can trump a wine like Soave in depth, with aspects of resin, herbs and something slightly evergreen. (If you were preparing your violin bow in an orchard in spring, you might get a sense of what it tastes like.) Hence the Ligurians adore it for their seafood and pesto, and the Sardinians and Corsicans for their heartier fare."

  • Wine Geeks

    "Vermentino is a very aromatic varietal combining notes of citrus, fresh grass, herbs, and almonds with a crisp and acidic framework."

  • Loren Sonkin, Into Wine

    "Look for wines that are light yellow gold in color. They have crisp steely mineral notes with nice citrus (lemon) flavors. So how are these wines different from the Vermentinos I recommended from Sardinia last May? The Ligurian take on these wines has more elegance and more refinement. They are more delicate in style with more perfumed aromas. At the same time, they have a bit more acidity, more zip in the step. Both are good, but perhaps these are better at the table."

Some Vermentinos to Try

(About this list.)

When shopping for Vermentino or any of its namesakes, be wary of vintage years: not a few retailers who seem to offer remarkable bargain prices are selling three-, four-, even five-year old bottles. That is not A Good Thing. In the price ranges shown below for each wine, we have ignored prices on bottlings more than two years old; such wines may be perfectly palatable, but the market discounts them heavily and including them could give a false price impression.

The quotations below are excerpts; we strenuously urge you to click on the green diamond symbol by each quoted review to see the full article.
  • Sella & Mosca "La Cala" Vermentino, $9 - $17.
         ($14.74 at Saratoga Wine Exchange).

    Some quotations and facts:

    It has a pleasing yellow color with a nice bouquet of floral notes and apples. There is a balanced acidity and an elegance to this wine that makes it very pleasing to drink. The finish is long but not dominating. It's refreshing and uplifting. On first taste I found a slight bitter tang to it. As the wine opened up the acidity and apple flavors balanced out and showed very well. . . The winery is run by Mario Consorte and is considered "A model of contemporary viniculure" by Hugh Johnson.

    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.

    The wine was very aromatic on the nose, showing green apple, pear, lemon, white flowers and a little almond. Great acidity and very refreshing! This is definitely a wine I would buy again, and is especially suited toward the summer.

    La Cala is a fresh and vibrant expression of Vermentino that shows bright notes of lime and lemongrass backed by peach and honeydew melon. That natural freshness will pair perfectly with fried foods or calamari rings. 86 points.

    Vermentino, unoaded; aromatic and floral, light on the palate with a touch of salt water on the easy finish. Grade A-

    Pale straw with a slight green highlights, assertive aromas of citrus leaf, lemon and herbs radiated from the glass. Rich baked apple and traces of basil infused the light body, whilst honeysuckle, sea salt minerals and traces of bitter almond comprised the engaging finish. Refreshing, bright, and sincere, this is a great accompaniment to summer dishes.

    The La Cala is a very decent, inexpensive (about $12) example of Vermentino. Light and bright, with herbal, floral, and sometimes citrus notes, it is a very pleasing thirst quencher and partner to fresh seafoods. [Consulting enologist Beppe] Caviola detected rosemary and oregano in the aroma; I have to confess those went right by me, without detracting from my enjoyment of the wine.

    This Vermentino is clear and crisp but with a nice medium-full body. It is designed to be drunk young and not meant for aging. The nose is clean and bright with ample notes of citrus. The lemony accents and hints of fresh herbs are lively and fresh on the palate. A mineraly component is likely from the granite rich soil of Sardinia which makes it a perfect complement to shellfish, especially oysters. This wine is also, simply put, an incredible value wine.

  • Argiolas "Costamolino" Vermentino, $10 - $18.
    (Sardinia; 95% Vermentino, other 5% various Sardinian varietals, despite some retailer claims of 100%.)
         ($13.44 at Saratoga Wine Exchange).

    Some quotations and facts:

    Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino is one of the best examples of the varietal you will find easily in the United States. It is fresh, clean, and ripe, expressing pear, peach, spice (cardamom? vanilla?), and a touch of grapefruit on both the nose and the palate. It also has hints of lemony citrus, mineral, and herbaceous flavors, and is held up with a good edge of racy acidity. Texture is smooth, almost creamy. Though it appears to be a simple, light and refreshing wine when ice cold, if you let it warm a bit you’ll find it is actually rich and complex. Fairly unique, I’d say it’s what you would get if you crossed a rich Chablis Premier Cru with a Pouilly Fume. Drink it with almost any appetizers, smoked fish, cured meats, seafood, poultry, pork, or spicy foods. It also cuts right through overly garlicky dishes, such as what you might find in Greek cuisine. A winner in every way, and a good value at around $11.99. Buy as fresh a vintage as possible. 94 points.

    The color is somewhere between deep yellow and green. Often described as light and crisp, I find this wine certainly crisp, but I believe it has more heft than other so called light bodied, Italian white wines. Aromas of fresh peach, herbs (maybe basil?) and a smidgen of honey continue on the palate with great balance and acidity. This wine also has a nice, well rounded mouthfeel with a citrus finish.

    Notes of mineral, tropical fruits, citrus and sweet herbs, pine oil, lanolin, beeswax and a hint of spice. It is a potent white with great concentration of flavours; layers of citrus peel, beeswax and tropical fruit clings to your palate. Expect an oily texture and decent length with bright acidity to keep it fresh and lively. This is a thoroughly charming white, which I could drink every day.

    This wine has “refreshing and elegant” written all over it and it is sooooo good. It is a full-bodied but elegant white wine and it’s delicate, refreshing taste and bracing acidity will appeal to those tired of big, oaky California-style Chardonnays popular these days. Costamolino is the wine of choice to accompany antipasti, shellfish and seafood dishes. Try it with angel hair pasta with clams.

    Big ginger, floral, spicy, melon aromas mix with notes of quince, apple and citrus. Fresh, creamy, juicy, off-dry palate with honey, orange, baked pear, ginger and butter flavours. Plenty of flavour here.

    Aroma: Citrus, tropical fruits. Taste: Rose, melon, spice with nice crispness and honey notes. My thoughts: This was the hit of the night…a lovely fuller bodied Italian, great pairing with food and great price point!

    Perfect for summer sipping; cool, refreshing and fruity. There is a pronounced amount of yellow plum and white peaches, puctuated by the trademark salinity of Sardegna’s sunny vineyards. This wine is like potato chips- you can’t have just one… bottle.

    The honeyed lemon of vermentino certainly calls to mind its origins in this great-value white; pasta with creamy sauces.

    Eye : clear, pale to medium lemon with a tinge of green Nose: clean, low to medium intensity. Citrusy notes along with a slightly herbal quality I can’t quite place, overall it’s very pleasant, one whiff of the nose and you feel like the first sip is going to be refreshing. Palate: medium acidity, light to medium body, low to medium length of finish. Yep, I was right, refreshing it is. The wine is very crisp, clean and refreshing without being too harsh. The lighter body and acidity are balanced and the flavors are a little surprising, the citrus is there but there is clearly some white peach or other stone fruits. It makes the wine a lot fruitier than I expected without ruining the crisp, refreshing quality of the wine.

    I found this wine to be a bright yellow in color with an interesting nose of tropical fruits. On the palate, it is crisp and has delicious flavors of citrus and tropical fruits. It has a nice balance and is very pleasing to the tongue. . . At its price, this is an excellent value and well worth buying. If you want to try something different, buy this wine. This wine, for several vintages has received very positive press. For example, Robert Parker said: "The 2004 Vermentino Costamolino (perhaps the finest Vermentino I have ever tasted) exhibits ripe, exotic fruit (banana, pear, mango, and lemons) and salty sea breeze-like notes. With a delicious texture as well as a dry, heady finish, it will provide plenty of pleasure over the next 12 months. Score: 90."

  • Uvaggio Vermentino, $12 - $17.
    (Lodi, California)
         ($11.94 at Saratoga Wine Exchange).

    Some quotations and facts:

    Uvaggio Vermentino 2008 Lodi made from Vermentino grapes grown there is seriously good value. Only 12% alcohol and a modest price, it over-delivers in terms of flavour and refreshment. . . I tasted the 2007 vintage almost exactly a year ago and found it rather tart and bland but the 2008 is looking lovely now: bursting with fruit like a slice of juicy pear and with quite enough acidity to make it a good drink without food. It is only 12% alcohol and the Lodi grapes were apparently fully ripe at 21 Brix. Unlike most Cal-Ital varietals, which seem to bear pretty little relationship to the Italian prototype, one mouthful of this was enough to remind me of a lunch in Liguria

    Made from a hard-to-find variety in California, this bright, beautifully aromatic wine expresses gorgeous scents of jasmine that follow through in flavor to the finish. Its layers of lime, apple and a generous level of minerality are perfectly executed and waiting for seafood. 92 points.

    “Vermentino,” says [winemaker Jim] Moore, “is the thinking man’s Pinot Grigio.” Like Pinot Grigio, it tends to be light, dry and breezy; lemony tart without being puckery. Where Vermentino veers off – as in the 2009 Uvaggio Lodi Vermentino – is in its multifaceted nose: lavender, thyme and lime blossom fragrances, with undertones of cantaloupe and nuances of wild honey and cream. On the palate, it is silkier than your typical Pinot Grigio, the crisp qualities popping through the fleshy fruit, stony and woody herb sensations.

    After chilling it down for about 20 minutes and pouring it into the glass, I took a sniff, and thought, “ah, that nice mineral and floral character I love from Vermentino.” Then I took a sip and thought, “whoa, there’s something different about this Vermentino. It’s a little richer, sweeter, fatter, and more creamy than I expect from the variety . . . this particular example from Uvaggio retains much of the character an experienced geek expects from Vermentino — mineral notes, delicate floral aromas, citrus. However, there’s definitely a “New World” style weaved in, perhaps the result of the warmer climate combined with some cellar techniques — maybe some of it went through a malolactic process to create the plush texture, and/or a kiss of oak is behind the sweet vanilla. On its own, is a pleasant sipper. With food, it’s lacking acidity to stand up to richer dishes, but should pair nicely with lean meats and simply grilled fish.

    The 2011 Uvaggio Vermentino begins with a very nice light fruit and floral aroma. This easy to drink wine tastes crisp and fresh with an excellent texture, good acidity and flavors of lime and green apple. On the finish the fruit turns tart, a little white pepper appears and then you're left with lingering mineral notes.

    A dusty, zesty and attractive wine loaded with juicy minerality that clocks in at just 11 percent alcohol and no residual sugar. Notes of thyme, rosemary, bay laurel, mint and cilantro; lemon peel on the finish.

    Straw is the resonant hue in the glass, and the nose features a strong minerality with aromas of pear and a faint tropical reference. On the palate, a big splash of savory fruit makes an impression, but it seems to lack acidity. The taste is great, though. I paired it with a margherita pizza and a spinach salad with bacon. The acidity simply couldn't match up with either the pizza or the bacon, but it did nicely with the spinach alone, and with a crust of bread and olive oil. A little more acidity would have made this nice sipper a perfect match with food.

    It delivers lush flavors of Golden Delicious apples, Anjou Pears, buttermint, clover, melon, fresh figs, and a vibrant core of honeysuckle, all wrapped in a silky texture and a crisp finish that literally made our mouths water. We’ve tasted a lot of Vermentino just this week, at an Italian tasting in Seattle, and this Uvaggio would have stood toe-to-toe with any of them.

    Uvaggio is making a serious case for Lodi Vermentino. This bottling is compelling: savory with herb and green olive notes, and yet freshly fruity and delicate, well integrated and plenty acidic to stand up to a wide range of food, even given its modest 11% alcohol level. A stunner that’ll keep you thinking, and asking for more.

  • Cantine di Dolianova Dolia Vermentino, $13 - $15.

    Some quotations and facts:

    Here’s a fresh and bright Vermentino that drinks easily and shows subdued aromas of peach and honey. The mouthfeel is informal and light. 85 points.

    The Cantine di Dolianova, founded in 1949, considered to be the island's leading cooperative, makes some of the best that Sardinia has to offer and strives to safeguard the unique character that the difficult climate gives to the wine. . . The Vermentino has a seductive bouquet of peaches and melons, well-balanced, savory and fresh.

    This has light melon, mostly cantaloupe. This isn’t really my style of Vermentino. To me, this is kind of watery & it doesn’t have the acidity that I associate with the varietal. There are some great Vermentino’s out there, but this isn’t one of them.

    [T]his lovely white wine has a very floral nose with crisp citrus fruit flavors on the palate. Balanced acidity and a refreshing finish complete the wine. Serve with seafood dishes, grilled fish and garden fresh green salads.

    Tiffany and I were but a single point difference in our scoring. We both sensed peach on the nose but she added melon whereas I included lemon. We had similar tastes detected on our palates. I rated it 1-point higher on nose intensity and Tiffany rated it 1-point higher on both fruit intensity and taste characteristics.

    Lovely little Italian varietal. Easy drinker with medium body and good complexity! Orange blossom, warm citrus and floral notes on the finish. A first with this varietal for me:) I would definitely go for more of these when I find them.

  • Piero Mancini "di Gallura" Vermentino, $14 - $17.

    Some quotations and facts:

    [T]he 2007 from Piero Mancini, had aromas reminiscent of wild thyme. . . Light-bodied with flavors of citrus, minerals and herbs.

    The Gallura penisula of Sardinia is the source of some of the best Vermentinos in Italy, if not the world and the Piero Mancini Vermentino is a typical Galluran wine—bright, fresh and clean with delightful notes of lemon and grapefruit.

    This magnificent Vermentino, one of the masterpieces of Piero Mancini, was created to celebrate the charm of Gallura. It is a wine of elegant personality, fine and harmonious, and the taste is very balanced, with a good structure. Straw yellow with greenish hues, typically aromatic and elegant, balanced, smooth, well structured.

    This white from the northeastern corner of Sardinia is very pale gold, offering aromas of herbs and sweet fresh hay. Vermentino is widely planted in Sardinia; it's a vigorous vine that needs lean soil to shine. In the northern reaches of Gallura—the only region on Sardinia with DOCG status—it has to struggle to live, and this produces a complex, textured wine that's redolent of the region's scrubby herbs. This specimen is lightly alcoholic but still juicy and vibrant, with melon and citrus flavors and a lingering finish that's spicy but not too hot. It would be very food-friendly: it's clean and not overly aromatic, and it cleanses the mouth with its good acidity.

    There’s a lot going on in this wine, but somehow all of the elements work together harmoniously. A full, creamy texture up front gives way to bright acid and a prickly, rocky minerality on the finish. Sweet, zesty lemon lingers throughout, backed by notes of lush tropical fruit—pineapple, guava—as well as peach and tangerine as the wine opens up.

    Delicious gold-hued wine that gathers the sun into the glass; scents of lemon curd and olive. Its flavors are full and exotic, almost like passion fruit spiced with honey, and the olive aromas give way to lavender.

    Tropical fruit and Sardinian “macchia”, typical aromatics and good acidity. Clean and crisp, maintains the fruit throughout on a background of saline minerals and native flowers.

    The wine was refreshing as it reminded me of fresh thyme yet its little touch of nuttiness lend itself to some weight. . . very fresh and forward, made with no oak or malolactic fermentation, just grape juice fermented at low temperature in stainless steel for the aromas.

  • Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso "Vermentino di Bolgheri", $19 - $30.
         ($24.94 at Saratoga Wine Exchange).

    Some quotations and facts:

    The Antinori’s version is gently aromatic, soft and mellow, redolent of summer apricots and white peaches. It’s not a complex or sophisticated wine but is bursting with personality and immensely likable. It’s a delight to drink.

    This almost clear colored Vermentino opens with a wet stone and lemon-lime bouquet. On the palate, this wine is light bodied, slightly acidic and mouthwatering. The flavor profile is a mineral infused light lemon with hints of pear. The finish is dry and its flavors fade away nicely.

    In the glass this wine has a pale hue, one that says nothing of the wine's open and characterful nose, redolent of tropical fruits cut through with a refreshing grapefruit twist lending the nose a rich and yet defined air, rather than anything fat or blowsy. The palate follows on in the same vein, with a lovely pithy-bitter character to it at the start, followed by more subtle tropical fruit notes at first, only coming in behind the pithy core of the wine through the midpalate. It has, as promised, freshness and acidity, behaving more as if from a rather cooler climate than Tuscany in the mouth. It finishes up in a long, sappy, refreshing close, one that is moreish even if it is rather short. All the same this has a delightfully fresh and bright character for this warm region, and yet it also has attractive fruit. An impressive wine and one that suggests Vermentino holds much promise for the Tuscan vigneron interested in trying his or her hand with something other than Sangiovese.

    Dry and medium in body with aromatic citrus, floral and peach pit aromas and a hint of mineral. Great winter white for savory seafood dishes and most chicken preparations.

    [Google-translated from Italian] The wine has a straw yellow color as brilliant green and gold shades, consistent. Smell emanates net the varietal aromas of citrus yellow, golden apple, plum, gooseberry, from the fruit still intact; green notes and balsamic chlorophyll, rosemary, mint; and then pungent mineral breath of iodine and almond notes; the wide-ranging and more intense at higher temperature service. The taste is a good roundness with surprising tip sweetish the first impact in the mouth; very elegant, beautiful structure and consistent taste the nose; balanced, with freshness and flavor characteristic, growing gradually minerality in the finish well down from almond aftertaste. Alcohol 13% of the volume, and you can hear everything.

    It is fresh, crisp, with a high acid level that makes it pair well with food. This wine received 92/100 points from Wine and Spirits and was declared a ‘best buy”.

    More usually found in Corsica, in Sardinia and across the South of France, this racy Mediterranean variety retains it acidity in warmer regions giving racy, refreshing wines. Ripe, gently honeyed, Sauvignon-esque nose with suggestions of tomato leaf and greengage. Dry, but not austere; fresh and limey fruit was balanced by an almost salty minerality and the finish was surprisingly long for a light white.

    [L]ighter-bodied [than a Sardinian], but perhaps more elegant, with pretty, floral, citrus and mineral aromas. . . Fresh and fragrant with aromas of flowers, lemons and almonds.

For a Splurge

For only a hair above our nominal $20 limit—about $20 to $23—one can treat oneself to a bottle of Vigne Surrau Sciala Vermentino di Gallura Superiore.

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