2021 Ryme Cellars, Vermentino “Hers” Las Brisas Vineyard, Carneros, Sonoma County.
Ryme does two distinct versions of Vermentino, “His” which is an orange style, skin contact example and “Hers” this one, a vibrant Vermentino that is stingingly crisp and bone dry, both of which are sourced from the Las Brisas Vineyard in Carneros, with its cool breezy climate. Megan Glabb (Her) took the lead here on this wine with, as her husband Ryan Glabb saying that she had her sights fixed on the bright, clean, aromatic examples from places like the Ligurian coast or Gallura in Sardegna to craft this “Hers” Vermintino, which is clearly on display in this 2021, which is bursting with energy and brilliant detail. This vintage is more electric on the light to medium bodied palate than the last couple of years with zingy citrus, kumquat and lime, some unripe peach, melon and tart apple fruits, a touch of flinty mineral, wet stones, verbena, green herbs and a fine dusting of spices. This brisk white drinks a bit like a salty Musdadet and is refreshing, making it a great wine with briny oysters and farm cheeses and is a super aperitif and Summer sipper. I’ve been very impressed with the last two or three years of Ryme releases, with this one being a favorite of the whites.
To maker her “Hers” Vermentino, winemaker Megan Glabb says the grapes, which were picked for maximum vitality, were whole cluster pressed, settled clean, and fermented without inoculation in a combination of old neutral barrels and stainless steel. She goes to explain that the wine underwent a spontaneous partial malolactic fermentation that allows for its racy nature to shine through and to provide some texture, that does come through with air and time in the glass. Ryme has built up a strong collection of Italian varietal offerings, including the “His” and “Hers” Vermentinos, along with Fiano, Greco de Tufo, the co-fermented Sangiovese/Friulano and an amazing set of Aglianicos, which I am really impressed with, especially the Camino Alto single vineyard bottling and the Rosé. Beyond their talents with these Cal Itals, Ryme does some outstanding Bordeaux varietal wines with a tasty set that includes a Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from the historic old Durney Vineyards, now called the Massa Estate in Carmel Valley and a pure Cabernet Franc from the Alegria Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. This 2021 “Hers” Vermentino is exciting stuff and, though hard to find and allocated, worth chasing down, plus I should note the 2022 is just about ready for release and I recommend getting on Ryme’s mailing list.
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive